The Noble Challenge

My idea of a great time could be your idea of a snoozefest.

My idea of a stellar documentary could be your idea of a lemon.

My idea of a brilliant meal could be your idea of a pinch-your-nose-and-move-it-around-the-plate dish.

My idea of rock-solid planning could be your idea of overkill.

My idea of a helping hand could be your idea of undermining your autonomy.

My ideas and your ideas could be quite different.

Here’s the noble challenge: Can we hold our different ideas without judgment or ranking?

We live in a world wide enough, deep enough, spacious enough to host a vast range of opinions. And provided they aren’t causing anyone any harm, there’s room for all those opinions, no matter how much they clash.

If I catch myself judging someone’s clothing at a wedding or judging someone’s comment at a book signing, I am working - as the artists and wise elders tell us - to convert my judgment into curiosity.

“Huh,” I’ll say to myself, “I notice you labeled that person’s comment ‘stupid.’ What could be underneath that?” Even a slight movement towards curiosity can help loosen up the clamp of judgment and get me feeling a little kinder.

And it’s not just for when we judge others. It’s also for when we judge ourselves, too. After all, if we judge others, there’s a good chance we judge ourselves, too.

If that sounds like fluff and puff without substance, here’s something I find helpful: our souls are wide enough, deep enough, spacious enough to host a vast range of opinions without condemning any of them.

And I have to believe that the more we live in curiosity and not judgment, the greater our access to those enormous souls of ours.

But, of course, that’s my idea. Yours could be quite different.

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Making ChangeCaitie Whelan