Before the spiritual teacher named Ram Dass had his stroke, I had the great honor of interviewing him for my first newspaper, The New Times. One of the things he said was that the human race will never get along and heal its various damaged relationships as long as people won’t listen to one another.
For example, he said, people who don’t consider themselves to be Christian in the traditional sense of that word should spend some time listening to some Fundamentalist Christians. And he said he meant to really listen to what they are saying while trying to see things from their point of view.
Granted this will only work if both groups will truly listen to one another. However, I have found it very helpful to listen to people who don’t agree with my viewpoints and even to read books that are outside the scope of my usual reading.
This can open your mind and help you to understand others in a new way. Give this a try this week. Read something outside your usual reading list. Listen to news on a different channel. Read a different newspaper. You don’t have to agree with anything and you don’t have to change your mind or your position about anything.
Just open your mind to something different from yourself and your usual opinions and see if it doesn’t also open your heart and your understanding. This is especially helpful if you have family members who don’t understand you and your spiritual path. Perhaps when they see you being more open and receptive to their beliefs, they might decide to be more open and receptive to yours.