“A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing personal opinion.” Proverbs 18:2 NRSV-CI
We live in a noisy culture. In our busy lives – full of technology, television, schedules and social media – it’s difficult to discern what is good and true.
I talk and think about listening a lot but I’m still not brilliant at it. Perhaps, there lies my error – not enough action! I also want to engage, debate and share my ideas.
Yet, at the same time and despite good intentions, we can fail to listen to the Other. We surround ourselves with those who agree and affirm our beliefs. We can swipe away, “unlike”, delete and even block out those people and those things that challenge us.
If we only seek to express our personal opinions, we will never listen and learn from those “on the outside”.
Love proceeds understanding. And so we must first listen and Encounter the Other. Only then do we begin to understanding and resonate with their story, their experiences and their perspective.
P.S. I’m working my way through Pope Francis’ recent Encyclical Letter, Fratelli Tutti, which inspired this post. It is well worth reading, if you make the time.