The point of dialogue with those whom we love and respect is not to convince but to listen.
‘The greatest changes are wrought by listening.’ (Laurence Freeman)‘In dialogue, we do not impose our way of thinking; by dialogue, we find in the views of others what is lacking in our own.’ (St Oscar Romero) Worthwhile dialogue requires trust, respect, and a willingness to listen and learn. Listening is an activity that connects us deeply with others. No one should pretend to know everything. When we listen to others with love, they are more ready to listen to us. Listening is much more than simply hearing. Hearing is about receiving information, while listening is about communication, and calls for closeness. Listening allows us to get things right, and not to be simply passive onlookers, users or consumers. Listening is one of the greatest gifts that we can give another human being. To be listened to, to be heard, is to know that someone else takes me seriously. This is a redemptive act! Listening takes courage. To listen to another makes me vulnerable. However, it is also a good antidote to narcissism.
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