October 2nd, 2012
On being right without making others wrong.
The other day I had the accidental pleasure of overhearing two little girls explain to one another why the leaf in their hand was the most beautiful one they had ever seen. Each had an entirely different leaf and each was fully committed to explaining everything wonderful they saw in it.
“Mine had a hole in it so the sun light shines through!”
“Mine is the brightest shade of red in the whole world, it is beautiful!”
They both shared with such enthusiasm, delight and excitement. What intrigued me the most about their conversation was that although they were both whole- heartedly committed to and sure of what they loved about their leaf, nothing they were saying suggested that their leaf was somehow better than the other or that the other’s opinion about their leaf was in any way incorrect.
Being momentarily lost in their world of uncensored self-expression I began to reflect on most of my adult conversations. It seems somewhere along my journey to adulthood I was taught that my opinion, in order to be properly expressed, needed to be at the expense of any other differing opinions. It was imperative that I PROVE myself.
Now granted, typically my conversations are about things a bit more cerebral than the characteristics of a leaf that I admire – but I still believe I can be as committed and passionate, excited and certain of what I am saying without it meaning ANYTHING about your opposing view.
It’s about speaking from a place of desire to express rather than an attempt to convince. It’s about looking for the ways in which you are aligned rather than the ways in which you differ. It’s about respecting the person you are communicating with enough to make their opinion valid and being curious enough to stay flexible with your thoughts and understanding.
It’s about embracing the wide-eyed wonder and brilliance of childhood. We really had it figured out back then, remember?
So tell me, what are YOUR thoughts??!?