Experience teaches me again and again that I contribute so much more to a conversation…
… by being a sincere asker of questions rather than an adroit expresser of opinions, no matter how informed they might be.
Experience teaches me again and again that I could have avoided so many regretful words by listening first and talking second… if I needed to talk at all.
Experience teaches me again and again that genuine communication also includes that which remains unspoken… in the name of tact and kindness.
Experience teaches me again and again that I learn more… and often teach more… by being a generous listener rather than a fancy talker.
Experience teaches me again and again that poor listening is worse than an annoying habit… that it can be a most stubborn defense against exposing my biases and preconceptions to so many inconvenient truths.
That said, ignorance, and all the evils that ignorance breeds… the intolerance, injustice, and violence… will continue to plague the planet as long as we think that we have more to say to each other than to learn from each other.
And so listening is more than a nice thing to do. Real listening is an act of courage that creates hope where there once was none.
Next Meditation: Leadership
A uniquely burdened and blessed citizen of the world thinking and acting out loud!