When did it become more important to be right than to be kind?
What makes us so sure we are the ones with the truth?
Rarely do I feel certain about anything in life.
Which is strange because I am a learner, a researcher, and a listener.
People like me collect facts and history and personal stories.
We should be more certain about life.
But we are not.
The more you know, the less you realize you know.
Unfortunately, though, we can’t walk around life never deciding on anything. Those of us who care deeply enough to look into facts and listen to people’s experiences are the ones who ultimately need to share our thoughts (yes, this is a subtweet at myself).
I may not be able to decide what to eat for dinner, but I can decide my stance on common sense gun reform. (For it, 100%)
I may not be able to decide what movie to watch Friday night, but I can take a stance on voter suppression legislation. (Facts show very little fraud exists and thus does not justify increased voting restrictions.)
And yes, I will encourage vaccinations and keep wearing a mask until we have reached an end to this pandemic.
These opinions did not come easily.
I researched statistics and policies in countries with stable governments.
I read up on the history of the Constitution and listened carefully to personal experiences.
I heard the guidance from medical professionals and from the Pope.
Even today, as I hold these particular stances, I make an effort to keep listening.
Just this week, somebody I greatly respect and follow on Instagram shared the reasons she owns an assault rifle and feels safer with one in her home.
Her story did not change my mind, but it opened up another way of thinking that I had not previously considered and it reminded me how important it is to remain open to new information.
Listening shows people we care.
Listening checks our ego and our need to be right.
Listening opens our hearts to the fullness of God’s presence.
Listening enables us to kindly and intentionally find ways to love others exactly as God would love them, which is, I believe, the entire reason we are here.