The Duty of Love
The first duty of Love is to listen.
Paul Tillich wrote that. Apparently. I’ve no idea who Paul Tillich is. Actually, this is a good example of something that makes me smile. When it comes to debating whether God created the universe or science… So many people struggle to accept something or have faith in something they can’t prove yet there are about a billion things we accept without questioning every single day. Why is that? Anyways… That was a total side note and wasn’t what I was going to write about lol.
I think listening is often easy to do. It’s what you do with the information that is the issue for most of us. How do we respond? People and situations bring out the worst in us. How do we use people and situations to bring out the best in us? Sometimes when people act in an unusual way we are quick to judge rather than ask questions. I find myself reacting firstly with the thought: “Why are you being a dick?” Right there… That’s already judgement passed. I haven’t even gotten onto “Haha, you are so uncool”; “OMG thank god I’m smarter than you to not react like that”; or even one of my personal favourites: “Wow there went your dignity.”
Dignity. What planet am I on? I’m pretty sure my own dignity is in a turd hole somewhere.
Most of us know how to listen to each other. Whether we practice it or not is another thing. But… Do we listen to ourselves? I know I don’t many times. And when I find myself starting to realise I’m having these thoughts… It takes a lot to fight against my number one human error: Pride. The ability to listen in love is hindered by pride. I’m better. I have a right to say this to you or to treat you this way. I can. I will. I want. I am. I. I. I.
I know of a few people who have held me in a place of error because of a mistake I’ve made. Holding me in that place has prevented me in moving forward in their minds. So whilst it’s in their own mind. It does still mentally, emotionally and even physically affects me. They will always see me in the eyes of a mistake rather than what I’m trying to do right. But then I am aware there are things that I hold against people. Mistakes they have made. I too hold people in places where I should allow them to be free. I can’t explain why other people may have held me in a place I don’t belong in. But I can say most of my judgement comes from a place of not understanding.
I don’t understand you. I don’t understand why you do things. Why you say things. And I can’t help but think if I did understand then my thoughts towards people would be a lot less harsh. But then again… Do I have that right to understand? Quite possibly not. And if that’s the case… Man, this goes to a level of comprehension that boggles my brain. I fear I’m never going to learn or successfully get anything right at this rate! :S This would be simple if I wasn’t complex.