A wise person knows that there’s something to be learned from everyone.

 A wise person knows that there’s something to be learned from everyone.

I have never met another person that cannot teach me something if I talk with them for a little while.

Everyone has such a disparate life story, it is foolish to believe that someone has nothing of value to share with you. Perhaps this starts with a definition of the word, “value.” You might be incredibly intelligent with extensive book knowledge and life knowledge, but even the most simple human being can impart upon you certain wisdom or perspective that your life experience has never shown you. 

If you dismiss any prejudice you might feel at the top of a conversation, and instead approach each conversation as an opportunity for enlightenment, you might be very surprised at what you will learn. It may not be the most profound thing, nor a pearl of wisdom that you somehow have not uncovered, but there is a perspective, or a feeling, or a life experience that each and every other person has, that you have never had. 

I have found that as I talk with other people, I am often times surprised by what they might be willing to share with me. This does not mean that every conversation is saturated with content that is enriching, satisfying, or enlightening… what it does mean is that as I am processing things that they say, attitudes that they have, or perspectives that they believe in, it further flushes out for me values, systems, insights and other important variables that help me understand humanity at large. 

Sometimes, if I am in a most patient mood, I will make the time to even try and listen to those who are politically 100% opposite the values that I feel or believe in. I may not like what they have to say, I may believe that what they are saying is not true, but if I am open-minded enough to listen to what they are expressing, at a minimum I might start to get a greater understanding of what is creating the immense chasm between the way they see the world, and the way that I see it. 

Is this honestly a valuable exercise? I believe that it is, because if we do not take time to understand other people, then we get lost in our own bubble, and in doing so, we find ourselves in an echo chamber of continuously consistent thought. Even if we believe that that thought is accurate, we are still not understanding why the other side believes our behaves the way that they do. U.S. Gen. George S. Patton Jr. said, “If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.” 

Every once in awhile, when one of my friends sends me a video of a spokesperson expressing a perspective that I do not necessarily believe in, if they have chosen someone who is rational and intelligent and is not using the volume of their voice to make their point, but rather using intelligence and perspective, I am surprised to find myself understanding and appreciating a percentage of what they have to share. 

If all people were willing to be more adaptable to listening to others, we would find ourselves less polarized and more willing to cooperate. Western society divides us into opposite sides of a continuum. We grow up with team rivalries, and so we are either for team A or team B. This translates into our views on topics or our politics. But often times there is no right or wrong, there is only what is. 

We are well-served, sometimes, to discard our polarization and instead concentrate on solutions instead of divisiveness. 

Happy Wednesday!

Please follow and like us:
Pin Share
Written by Brian Weiner
When I was 5 years old, I discovered that the lemon tree in the backyard + dixie cups + water and sugar and I was in business. I have been hooked on that ever since. In 1979, I borrowed $14,000 to create a brand new product... photographic greeting cards with no text on the inside, called Paradise Photography. That was the start of The Illusion Factory. Since then, The Illusion Factory has been entrusted by all of the major studios and broadcasters with the advertising and marketing of over $7 billion in filmed, live, broadcast, gaming, AR, VR and regulated gaming forms of entertainment, generating more than $100 Billion in revenue and 265 awards for creativity and technology for our clients. When I took a break from film school at UCLA to move to Hawaii, my mother did not lecture me. Instead, she took 150 of her favorite aphorisms and in her beautiful calligraphy, wrote them artistically throughout a blank journal. That is the origin of the Lessons from the Mountain series. Since then, on my journeys to the top of a mountain to watch the sunrise, I have spent countless hours contemplating words of wisdom from the sages of all races, genders and political persuasions, constantly accumulating the thoughts to guide me on my life path. I hope you enjoy my books. Please let me know your thoughts, as I highly value your feedback!