Everyone comes from a different life experience and has witnessed, researched, or considered things you haven’t. -REALLY!
But far too often we are too busy, proud, judgmental, and afraid to dive in and try to discover what those things are.
This morning I watched this unfold on a friend’s Facebook feed:
I was raised in a tiny town in rural America with a population less of less than three thousand people. When I was first married, my husband and I met a couple that were raised in the second largest city in the U.S. with a population of almost four million.
The husband had been in street gangs and literally fought for his life.
When he asked what was dangerous in my hometown, he just about busted a gut when I said… “Gossip.”
Words were no threat to someone who had dodged bullets.
It seemed insensitive and pointless to try to argue that King Solomon really knew what he was talking about when he said, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.”
When bullets are flying – gossip won’t kill you.
But here’s the thing…
Have you got a list of values that you hold so dearly, that they actually define who you are?
And I used to really struggle with those that didn’t share those values.
As a child, I would passionately argue my convictions and not listen to those that did not share my opinions. (Because they were simply wrong!)
As a young professional, I thought it was horribly rude for people to roll their eyes in disagreement – but the shaking of my head as others spoke – screamed how wrong they were. (And how unwilling I was to listen.)
Hi! My name is Chery, and I am a recovering opinionista! (…Emphasis on recovering.) Somewhere along the way, I caught a glimpse of myself in a mirror, and I didn’t like what I saw.
So I began to listen more and talk less. (Not because I didn’t have opinions, but because I didn’t know how to share them and really listen.)
Along the way I heard personal stories from people who had opposing views about some of the values that I hold most dear. And I began to really consider what it was like to walk in their shoes and even wonder if I’d experienced what they had, if I would hold those same views.
In most cases, my convictions did not change, but my understanding, compassion and creativity increased:
The pending election in my home country is stirring up a lot of drama, a steady stream of propaganda, bullying, manipulation and lies.
A few weeks ago a friend of mine shared this thought, “Look at your right to vote as a golden opportunity to help hire the right person…” LPS
He’s got a point. Our election is not a political issue. It is a leadership issue. …And we get to make the hiring decision!
The person we “hire” will impact our workplaces, our families, our healthcare, our education, our security, how we practice our faith, how we treat each other, how well we relate to and serve other nations, and our future.
Their character matters! The culture of our nation will be shaped by the worst behavior we are willing to tolerate from the person we grant this title to.
Have you ever worked with someone that has a title but:
- Struggles to take a clear stand on heated issues, causing them to flip-flop so often – that no one knows where they really stand?
- Manipulates the truth to control the outcome?
Where there is smoke there is usually fire.
- And yet, far too often people stumble over the truth, and then hurry off as if nothing happened.