We have no means of discriminating between right and wrong if we do not take into account others’ feelings, others’ suffering.
-Dali Lama, Ethics for the New Millennium
As we consciously think about how we want to respond or react to the thought of others, we need to think about how our definitions of right or wrong differ from the thoughts of others and, is what we are wanting to say in reaction to a comment or idea we don’t align with and why do we feel that way? Even more important, what is it in the other person’s life experience that causes them to feel the way they do? The old quote about not judging someone until you have walked a mile in their moccasins comes to mind.
We cannot know what their life has been like. So, in all things, we need to do our due diligence to ascertain why they feel the way they do.
How do we do that? We have a dialogue with them. We engage them in non-confrontational conversation to get to know them. Normally when we learn to engage in this manner, we find that we really are not that far apart in our beliefs and that when we change the way we see what we see, as often happens when we get up close and personal, we are able to find a common ground upon which we can build anew.
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