beliefs, challenged, curious, disturbed, holidays, ideas, identity, Meg Wheatley, Turning To One Another
I probably should have said something gleaned from Meg Wheatley’s book, Turning to One Another before the holidays started since so many of us were on our way to gatherings during these days. If close to home, we are probably back in our own space by now, safe in our daily routines. For some, today may be a travel day, perhaps an unlikely time to be on the internet – unless stuck in an airport, of course. Anyway, I wasn’t feeling as if I had anything to say this morning that was worthy of note but, since I needed a companion for my second cup of coffee, I pulled Meg Wheatley off the shelf and opened to a section named willing to be disturbed. Although the entire section is worthy of note, the beginning caught my eye immediately. I will only submit to you the first paragraph and a short addendum but once again, I offer the book as one to review on a regular basis because her words are relevant, it seems, to whatever day we find them in – ordinary or not.
As we work together to restore hope to the future, we need to include a new and strange ally – our willingness to be disturbed. Our willingness to have our beliefs and ideas challenged by what others think. No one person or perspective can give us the answers we need to the problems of today. Paradoxically, we can only find those answers by admitting we don’t know. We have to be willing to let go of our certainty and expect ourselves to be confused for a time…
It is very difficult to give up our certainties – our positions, our beliefs, our explanations. These help define us; they lie at the heart of our personal identity. Yet I believe we will succeed in changing this world only if we can think and work together in new ways. Curiosity is what we need. We don’t have to let go of what we believe, but we do need to be curious about what someone else believes. We do need to acknowledge that their way of interpreting the world might be essential to our survival. (p. 34-35)