Here is a re-posting of a theme that seems relevant.

In our world today, we are not always so great at listening. What is listening? It is one thing to hear what someone says to you, but it is quite another to listen to it.

Listening implies that we take what someone has said and we begin to digest it. We analyze the various layers that the idea presented to us contains. We look to the person saying the things and to what we know about them. We use our knowledge about their situation and their past to try and gain a better idea of their perspective. We use our knowledge about the person not to create assumptions, but rather to strip them away. As we uncover the other’s perspective, we begin to see how they have reached their conclusion. Now we can begin to analyze the statement. We are free of assumptions and have arrived at the problem from a new-found perspective. Now you can weigh this perspective against your own.

The funny thing about truly listening is that we find that neither perspective is truly wrong. It is simply that, a perspective. When we slip into the other’s shoes and truly listen to what they are saying and where they are saying it from, we can see their point.

Now the tricky part. When we truly listen, we see that every problem has many sides and many perspectives. But only one Truth. The Truth is that our Universe is a spectacular place filled with infinite perspectives, all of which are valid. The Truth is that Balance arrives from investigating every problem from every perspective. When we are able to do this, we see that the answer is never in the extreme. The answer lies in the middle. No one side of the problem is right, no one perspective superior. The answer is always found somewhere in the middle.

I am curious, what does purple look like to you? Does it look the same to you as it does to me? Probably not. But is my version of purple more accurate than yours? Can it even be described? Purple is simply a perspective. So is religion. And philosophy. And spiritualism. And suffering. And joy. I will not help you to find Joy by telling you what it is. I will help you find Joy by listening to what you think it is.

I am ready to listen. But remember, I have a perspective too. And I will not be easily swayed by extremes. I will try to meet you somewhere in the middle. And together we will live in love.

Photo by: Oshinn Reid