Listen to Understand and Not to Reply

If you want to have a better attitude towards someone, then you must change your thoughts about that person.  This is not an easy task,  because our first instinct, as human beings, is to prove our point and then try to make others view the world through our eyes.

This power struggle, whether on social media or face to face, happens many times through out the day.  We want people to like what we like and hate what we hate.

My favorite color is blue, but when I learn yours is red, immediately I think, “Phhh…blue is much prettier than red.”  In trivial matters, such fleeting thoughts appear and disappear and often we are even unaware of its presence.  I mean, after all, unless we are talking curtains for the bedroom, our preference of color matters little, within the full spectrum of life.

However, it’s not as easy with other issues such as religion, politics, racism, sexual orientation and even climate change.  At the very mention of any of these, our psyche either goes on the offense or the defense.   We fight, “tooth and nail,” with efforts to prove our point, or we circle our wagons to defend our point.  I dare say, no one has ever changed their belief as a result of such strategy.  Effective communication is nonexistent in this kind of environment, however hurt feelings, broken friendships and divided families breed rampant.

Why are our emotions so sensitive when it comes to these issues?  Why do we draw a line in the sand and dare anyone to step over?  Why do we think everyone should agree with us?  How dare we hurt and kill others, simply because they are different?  What or who gives us that right?

Nothing and no one, and certainly not God!

I’ve heard it said, “Pride goes before the fall,” and how true it is!  It is our own selfish pride that causes us to commit such evils.  Pride is the ultimate villain, and it is he with whom we should wage war, and not each other.

How do we do this?

Peace is possible when we are willing to change ourselves.  We must “on purpose” rearrange our thoughts, to think of others more than ourselves, and then we must listen…truly listen.

When we listen we should first listen to understand first and then to reply.  Sometimes a reply is even unnecessary, but we must always listen.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Laurie says:

    Good post. It’s all about acceptance of each other – for who we are. In my case for who God created us to be and on that thought line, if we’re all born in the image of God -that means we’re all beautiful human beings.

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