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alistenI’m up early to greet the day with Meg Wheatley’s book, turning to one another. (Yes, the title is written in all lower case letters – most likely to emphasize the desire to have a conversation of equality.) I haven’t visited this treasure for a long time but have been trying to live with its messages nonetheless. It all seems so timely now when, day by day, so much in the world seems so fractured. I don’t know why it called to me as I turned to set my coffee on my side table. Perhaps it’s the appearance of the book itself, skinny but tall and dressed in a coat of red and yellow on its spine. Here are the two paragraphs that wouldn’t let me go this morning.

I hope you’ll begin a conversation, listening for what’s new. Listen as best you can for what’s different, for what surprises you. See if this practice helps you learn something new. Notice whether you develop a better relationship with the person you’re talking with. If you try this with several people, you might find yourself laughing in delight as you realize how many unique ways there are to be human.

We have the opportunity many times a day, everyday, to be the one who listens to others, curious rather than certain. But the greatest benefit of all is that listening moves us closer. When we listen with less judgment, we always develop better relationship with each other. It’s not differences that divide us. It’s our judgments about each other that do. Curiosity and good listening bring us back together. (p.36)