I listened to David’s views. They were quite different. Dismissing them was the easy, yet I knew that was not what I should do. Was there a perspective that I was missing?
I admire those who let others have their time. It is a gift that provides opportunity. It demands that one put one’s viewpoints on hold for a bit so that one can listen fully.
I listened to David’s views of an old colleague, I found myself admiring my colleague’s strengths in a way that I had not in the past. There are many reasons I respect his experience, endurance, and passion. We may not always agree, but we have often shared a conviction of needing to do more. Even as we focused on different parts of the business, I wonder if there is more that binds us together than separates. David’s perspectives reopened the questions, again.
It is good to listen to those hold different views. Across history there are examples of how others listened and came away richer for the experience. In one instance, “some Pharisees stood up to say their piece. They had become believers, but continued to hold to the hard party line of the Pharisees. ‘You have to circumcise the pagan converts,’ they said. ‘You must make them keep the Law of Moses.’” (Acts 15.5) There were those then that disagreed, yet by listening they opened up a channel for others to participate.
I doubt my old colleague and I will ever seen life in the same way. I do know that I will approach our disagreements differently in the future. I will seek to make sure he knew I was listening. I would find points where we agreed and establish a shared foundation of our views. In our differences, I would assure him that his views were heard and respected.
I do not believe we will ever fully agree. I do know we are stronger because of diversity. In looking with many eyes, we can see more. It is in the more that I find hope for the future.
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