The forest for the trees type thingy… ok.
I am particular about being specific. I am also verbose. Writing helps to manage and mature both issues.
I have often prided myself on being myopic in certain disciplines, even dogmatic about important things. We should be, honestly, when it comes to our convictions, our health, our families, etc. But we are not to throw out the rest of the truth (an er, people in our lives) in the name of being focused.
I think myopic and focused are neighbors, but they can also be enemies.
While focus and confidence in our ideas are paramount, these are worthless if we become blind to other people in the process. Sometimes we think we are certain in our understanding of things but our unwillingness to engage with alternative ideas without being triggered reveals a deeper problem. Namely, that our passions are mostly emotionalism rather than sound and reasoned beliefs.
We have to be willing, able, and desirous of learning and discovering not only what other people think and feel, but why. This is central to the human experience and for the spiritual people reading this, it’s taught and expounded upon in the Christian scriptures. Part of caring is patience. Part of patience is listening. Part of listening is turning off our instant response arsenal and just existing in the presence of often dumb ideas.
As long as we consider people’s ideas dumb, we are not seeing them as peers who are also experiencing life as we are. We quickly forget that everyone is on the journey but we are each in our own place. Loving kindness starts and finishes with true affection, which patiently traverses with the goal of like-mindedness. Bullying and terrorism are not successful methods of change. Our culture needs to learn that quickly. Right behavior and facts don’t make a community. Patience in diversity with understanding do.
Eventually, we will all find our own place and people. Until then, keep striving to be a part of a community that is known for the truth of how they love each other, not the truth of their dogma. The latter is a lonely and eternally fruitless place. Remember, there is a context in every thought and conversation. Find it, grow in it, understand it, and help others grow too.
What are some ways that you help other people work through their ideas? What approaches do you have when those who look to you are settled in error? I hope to talk soon.