It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude. – Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance
The world is powered by passionate people, powerful ideas, and fearless action. What’s one strong belief you possess that isn’t shared by your closest friends or family? What inspires this belief, and what have you done to actively live it?
(Author: Buster Benson)
A strong belief of mine is that we all have something of value to say, and that our humanness is expressed through deep listening to each other.
This belief has led me into conversation with spacey teenagers, homeless loners, Beverly Hills mavens, and penniless African villagers. I have pushed past odors, accents and offensive language in search of the connection I always find when I sit down with someone and hear them out.
Often the connection comes late in the conversation. Often we chit chat, we compare notes, or we laugh at strangers until we settle into something comfortable enough to get real. Sometimes it takes awhile.
Why do I do it? Not for them, though I’ve been told many times how appreciative my conversation partner is for the time we spent talking. I do it for me. I want the reassurance that underneath the layers we are really, truly the same.
We all want to be heard.
We want to be understood.
We want to connect.
My belief comes from a calling to serve by meeting others where they are. To connect deeply, regardless of demographics or life sentences. I’ve had this calling awhile now, and it has opened the door for intimate views into the lives of people I’d never be invited to if I waited for them to ask.
This post was catalzyed by the Trust30 Challenge, an online initiative and 30-day writing challenge that encourages you to look within and trust yourself. The Challenge was inspired by Ralph Waldo Emerson’s writings on self-reliance. Join me, and use this as an opportunity to reflect on your now, and to create direction for your future.