8. Sympathy

I think that we could all learn to be better listeners, don’t you? I wonder if there was ever a time when people listened more intently to the opinions and ideas of others. Or has it always been that we Americans tend to hold firmly to our opinions, unwilling to consider a change of position?


Today it seems that each of us has settled into our own particular conclusions about life, politics and religion. We tend, many of us, to wear our positions on our sleeves — ranting and raving about the hottest issues of the day while television and radio personalities such as Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly continue to feed the endless stream of debate about most everything. While their engagement of issues is probably important, such voices leave little room for a spirit of quiet patience. Maybe we feel that that’s the way we “ought” to be – high-spirited, opinionated and generally, well, loud.


I believe the spirit of Joyous Gard to be one of quiet patience, one that gathers and considers the ideas and opinions of others as a means to learn and to understand. I believe that it is by such a quiet spirit many transformations are made peacefully rather than forged by debate.


Day 8 Guide


Today, listen for things that aren’t generally part of your thinking. Try to understand some of the ideas and positions of other people.


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