We must challenge our view of society. Do we honestly feel that our acquaintances are unique individuals, such deserving of our utmost respect? There are certainly some who have received the modern day accolades to command this respect. Should we then ignore the opinions of others simply because they have failed to obtain an anointment from influential media outlets? Perhaps we find our own self gloating in the midst of our acquaintances. For it is true that ego provides the most formidable barrier to genuine listening. Since this is the case we should focus first on humbling our own self. We may find it proper to call upon this barrier as an ally in our task.
We are now armed with the knowledge of ego. In the absence of tremendous faith, humility, and spirit, we humans are very likely the most selfish creatures on the face of the earth. Unfortunately, since the fall of man we have taken on a flesh, which when left untended drives us toward immorality. Consider what one of the early Christian bishops, Gregory of Nyssa, offered on the subject.
"Bodies, once they have received the initial thrust downward, are driven downward by themselves with greater speed without any additional help as long as...no resistance to their downward thrust is encountered. Similarly, the soul moves in the opposite direction. Once it is released from its earthly attachment, it becomes light and swift for its movement upward, soaring from below up to the heights."
Genuine interest is the answer. We should like to become investigators of some sort. We know that intellectual curiosities are lying in wait. We are surrounded by these treasures. Inside of each and every one of us is something special, something unique, something worth sharing. Who will share in this with us? On our leadership journey it is our duty to seek out mutual respect and mutual benefit. We are the miners of intellectual gold. Where others find nothing, we discover and extract ideas. Is this not the purpose of conversation? Should we communicate without meaning? If we take initiative we will succeed. For as we know ego casts its shadow upon us. If we show genuine interest in another person's life; if we simply ask and listen; respond with inquisitive follow up questions, we may find our self in action and perception as a best friend. We may even accidentally learn something along the way.
Copyright © Robert Clinton Chedester 2013