Listening For Similarities

   “The best and the worst of us exist in all of us”

    A long time friend and patient who holds some political and world views that are very different from mine sent out an email to a large number of people.  I normally simply dismiss this kind of thing quietly.  This time I did not.  I responded with  pointing out the inconsistencies, making him wrong, and accusing him of spreading fear and divisiveness.  I let him have it.  And I sent this out to his whole constituency.

    Big mistake.

    I shortly received a message from one of our friends asking me to not send her anything again.  She accused me of being self-righteous and arrogant.

    She was right. I was. I was doing exactly what I was accusing him of….what she said hit me right in my heart.  I felt terrible.  I talked to my mentors and counselors about it.  I apologized to her and my friend.

    When I get down into my heart I can see and feel that all of us, regardless of our political leanings, are motivated by the same kinds of fear and loneliness for ourselves and our loved ones.

    When I listen for our common ground, I get a lot more peaceful.

    Another saying that helps, my mentor reminded me, especially in close relationships is:

“Never miss an opportunity to keep your mouth shut”

    My friend who originally sent this out responded to my apology with: “Ah don’t worry about it.  I can take it. It’s locker room banter is all. See ya soon.”

    

    Peace and Health to you all.

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