“The world is divided into people who think they are right”

Dennis Sparks

Sometime, somewhere, I remember someone observing, “The world is divided into people who think they are right.”

It’s hard to imagine a more succinct and accurate observation of the human condition and of the source of problems that range from the personal and professional to the political to horrific acts of violence and cruelty among peoples and nations.

The world would be a much better place, I believe, if more conversations began: “What I’m about to say is my truth with a lowercase “t.” It may be wrong or only partially true, so I’m eager to hear your views and am open to being influencing by them…”

I encourage you to offer some variation of that simple statement at least once each day and to listen deeply in the spirit of dialogue with an open mind to the views of others.

I am confident that not only will the quality of your relationships improve, but that you will be happier and more influential in all realms of your life.

That’s a substantial payoff from adopting the belief that there may be a number of valid points of view and beginning conversations with an invitation to explore that possibility.

 

2 Responses to ““The world is divided into people who think they are right””


  1. 1 Patricia T. De Bello May 28, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland, writes in her fascinating autobiography some early lessons in political arena that can certainly apply in the field of education and in the ability to have meaningful and real conversations. An early lesson was regarding those on the periphery. “When you are on the periphery the periphery is the center.” Another value needed for honest discourse was “meitheal,” similar to the African value of “Ubuntu,” both acknowledging the “idea of human interconnectedness and solidarity” as shown by working together to help one another (in rural communities, for example, by everyone helping to reap the harvest for one another). She quotes Desmond Tutu: “I am because you are.” Words and ethics to keep in mind when speaking (and listening) to each other’s “truths.”

    • 2 Dennis Sparks May 28, 2013 at 2:37 pm

      Thanks, Pat, for bringing a broader, international perspective to the challenge of bridging human differences.


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