My Way or The Highway?
Everyone has their opinions on almost every subject in the entire world. Popular subjects that are always up for debate/opinion are diets, world news, presidential decisions, religion, and education. Whether we agree or disagree or share a common interest in the subject, there’s always an opinion that is tied to our outlook on it all. It is up to us to decide if we are open to really see the perspective of others. This can be either really easy if we agree with their belief. At the same time, this can be a difficult thing to do if we do not agree with them. If we don’t agree with them, this does not give us the right to totally turn our ears off to what they are saying. Our aim is to get others on our side of an argument, whether we have all the right facts or not. We want people to think we are right and that they are wrong. Right? But is that really the best way to approach things? It takes a wise person to be able to listen to the words of someone he/she does not agree with and not get upset with them in the process. There are those who think that this kind of communication is not obtainable. It’s either gotta be “my way or the high way” when really, that is an arrogant attitude to have. We have so much to learn in this world and most of learning occurs through effective communication. How can we have effective communication if we do not take time to listen to each other? We can’t! You say this kind of communication is impossible and ineffective. But Scripture says other wise. Proverbs 2:2 says “Making your ear attentive and your heart inclining to understand”. If this was impossible to do, God wouldn’t ask us to do it! I think too many people take the Proverbs 18:2 approach “A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only expressing his own opinion”. When this happens, there is no room for effective communication and understanding. I see this going on more than Proverbs 2:2. If you want real wisdom and to be able to understand others better, listen to what they have to say. Put aside what you think and only listen to them. When people feel like they are being understood, they are more open to share their lives with you. When they feel like you are not listening to them and only care about yourself, this puts up a big wall and then almost no necessary communication can be obtained. Next time you are disagreeing with someone over something, maybe you should open your ears more than you open your mouth. “Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent”-Proverbs 17:28