Most of my time on the Internet is spent performing a back-and-forth dialogue of inner conflict over the opinions of others. When viewed individually, either side is equally ineffective. Together, lives can be truly impacted.
Let me explain.
I was raised by great parents. My dad, in particular, instilled a lot of great patterns and ideals. My drive to work hard and caring about what your name means to others all came from him. Dad had strong opinions about life, and things were great as long you eventually saw things his way.
As he and I have aged (along with my brother), we have learned that being right is not near as important as we once thought. Right, in some cases, is not as simple as one choice over another.
When I got I college, I didn’t really know how to listen to the opinions of others and truly hear them out. I had to learn — still learning, rather — how to have a healthy exchange of ideas.
Which leads me back to the inner back-and-forth dialogue.
It is vital to listen to the opinions of others and hear their heart behind the words. The forward motion of society and loving people through times changing can’t happen without it. If we weren’t willing to do so, this country will still be burning crosses and living in fear of nuclear war.
In the other side, we are allowed to think differently. The ideas that changed minds and hearts had to start somewhere, and there is no formula for where the new ideas will come from. I must prove my own theories internally and then go back and check my math daily. If everything is kosher, I shouldn’t be afraid to stand up for it.
If you struggle to find your own thoughts on the ills of today, don’t be afraid to form them. Take ideas you read and hear and find your truth. If you have no shortage of opinions, stop spouting them and listen for once. We are meant to do both.
I’m glad I struggle with the balance. I think it means I am trying to listen and think for myself equally. If I’m not, I trust someone to help me see that.