Sunday, December 05, 2010

Actively listen

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a challenge on Facebook to all of my friends. Spend the day listening to someone with a differing opinion from your own. Sit quietly and actively listen to what they have to say.  Get a solid idea of their position and reasoning.

As long as we focus on our differences, from petty to significant, we'll never find a way to resolve our issues.  That includes personal and global.

I see so many people arguing or ignoring another opinion or suggestion simply because of the person who is speaking. They're missing out on some valid arguments that way.

I received more feedback about my experiment in real time than I did online. My DB and DN had an amazing conversation without its usual loud sighing or verbal blasts of incomprehension.  It was healthy and respectful.  Other people told me they had engaged in similar conversations, read newspapers with a different political slant than their own or observed a religious practice with which they were unfamiliar or a culture that made them uncomfortable. Someone even suggested we try to make it an International Day of Observing How the Other Side Lives but the title was too unwieldy.

I'm throwing that challenge out to the blogosphere. Spend the next few days listening to what people say. Throw aside your prejudices and preconceived notions.  Ignore your expectations.


You don't know what you will hear but it might change the world if we all do it.

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry... did you say something?

    likinsel - sounds like some kind of edible tinsel, a cross between Christmas decorations and Christmas candy.