Can We Value Our Differences?
Stephen R. Covey talks about valuing our differences, something many of us don’t always put into practice. We may give lip service to the idea of valuing diversity, but when it comes down to people in our lives who don’t agree with us or have a different way of seeing things, it’s harder to open our minds and value those differences.
It all starts with respect, allowing people who think and feel differently about issues to be a source of learning and new ideas for us rather than a threat. We’re used to moving along in our own comfortable groove in life, thinking that the way we see the world is the way it is. If we’re not willing to open our minds and respect the different ideas and paths of those around us, we may miss amazing opportunities to open new horizons in our own life and create more mutual respect and appreciation.
When we feel ourselves closing our minds and hearts to someone with a different opinion, we can see if there’s something to learn from them before we automatically repeat our usual script. If we all thought the same, we’d be missing out on many diverse ideas and perspectives. Maybe we won’t agree, but at least we’ll practice relating with more kindness, respect and understanding.
When we listen with an open heart, making the good feeling in the relationship more important than proving ourselves right or wrong, we learn new ways of seeing things, and we can connect with another heart in mutual respect and appreciation.
Here are affirmations that may be helpful reminders:
I open my heart to respecting and learning from those who have different opinions.
I treat others with kindness and respect, and focus on keeping the good feeling in my relationships.
I open my mind to valuing many diverse ideas and perspectives, even if I don’t always agree.