The Gift of Listening by Asher Gottesman

I was watching a movie this past week and a scene in it had a huge impact on me. The scene highlights an especially pertinent and important message in today’s social climate.

The scene goes as follows: Three people go to a mediator, two of the people are in a dispute and the other is an observer. The two in the dispute present their case to the mediator. The mediator looks at the first person and says, “I see your point, you are right”.

He then turns to the second person, the opponent, and says, “I see your point, you are right”. Befuddled, the observer presses the mediator, “How can they both be right?!”, to which the mediator responds, “I see your point, you are right”.

I believe the mediator was trying to tell us that we are all right and we are all wrong.

Rather than fixating on being right, I urge us to listen to what others are saying and hear their truth. It is only when we work together that we can solve a problem, to actually make progress.

Often, our desire for immediate results leads us to engage in a series of impulsive reactions versus well-reasoned responses. We are so busy with our need to be right that we don’t spend any time solving the problem at hand.

I’m reminded of a lecture I heard this past summer by a noted economist who said, and I summarize, “Until we stop looking for immediate results and work together to actually solve our problems, we will continue to decline as a society”.

In today’s day and age, let us look beyond differing political, religious, or tribal views. Let us work together towards a solution to solve our problems. This, I believe, is the ultimate way to create a cohesive and just community. Community is recognizing that, regardless of how we see ourselves or how we perceive the way in which others see us, we are truly all connected.

The greatest gift we can give anyone is to truly listen to them, to hear what they are saying. You never know, you may actually see the world differently, get out of your own way, and create change.

Now, how cool would that be?

~Asher Gottesman, CEO & Founder of Transcend Recovery Community