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)
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?