I recently found myself on the fringes of a controversy. I knew many people involved and was in close contact with them for a few days when accusations were murmured. I listened to a firm “stand our ground” approach. I certainly didn’t have all the answers or even all the pieces of information, but when asked, I felt nudge to say, “But it’s important to see their perspective even if you don’t believe or understand it.
We need to listen and engage in humble dialogue, extend respect, and build relationships. Instead, we often spend most our time and energy defending our position and justifying ourselves. We often think and believe we see things the way they are, but we more often see things the way we are.
Sure, there are some commonalities across the human experiences, but there is even more variety. Listening to others always challenge us. We don’t have to absorb and incorporate everything we come in contact with. That isn’t wise. But dismissing people’s experiences and differences isn’t wise either.
Be willing to consider the ways things are – and even should be – is broader than your perspective and experiences. Truth is more than us: Seek it!