taking the other out to lunch

I’ve learned a lot about myself and others in recent months. My inner dictator accepts the value of differing opinions and is working hard to listen and to value those.

We are all challenged by difference, by something ‘other’ than our own world view. We may fall into the trap of using the phrase ‘common sense’ until pulled up on that by someone we grew up with. Someone who knew us when we were eighteen, and remembers what a mess we were then. “Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.” – Albert Einstein (quotation via The Brother)

‘Common sense’ can lead to dangerous places…

I'm not going on that bus, ever

Much can be learned, much can be changed by making time and space to listen to other views, to recognise the concerns and constraints of another. That doesn’t make it easy. It doesn’t make change quick. It doesn’t mean that my opinion will prevail. But it will mean that we begin to make progress, together.

As I am being challenged and tested and surrounded by differing opinions, I ‘ve been encouraged by a TED talk by Elizabeth Lesser. It’s about more than lunch- though that helps with the structure, venue, timing and enjoyment- it’s about working to understand those we disagree with.

In an election period, am I talking myself into having lunch with all the local candidates? Maybe I need a diary secretary?


2 thoughts on “taking the other out to lunch

  1. Ooooooie gooooie advise. We all have to talk, we all have to listen. Striking the balance difficult. I suppose, along the way, diversification helps. If one only associates with Triangles, you’ll never know what the Rectangles are thinking (or plotting).

  2. How interesting that I was talking to my son-in-law about this just the other day! I make a point of seeking out opinions other than my own, in particular during an election period! And sometimes my opinion is changed or at least broadened. I am a big Elizabeth Lesser fan. For awhile she and the Rector of my church had a radio show together. 🙂 I will make a point of listening to this TED talk. I am sure I will learn something!

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