Grace of Openness

Reading news online, I came across the phrase “the grace of self-doubt” and it has stuck in my head.  As an educator I have always worked hard to strengthen people’s belief in themselves and their abilities.  But I’m just thinking that perhaps sometimes our belief system has become so firm as to be immobile. I’m wondering if our hearts and minds are open to hearing something different —the validity of another way, the possibility of differing opinions being healthy.

Being an extreme extrovert, I think out loud and quite enthusiastically.  I’ve found over the years that this can intimidate people a bit because they think that I am wedded to my ideas, when in actuality I am collecting bits and pieces from the discussion and by the end may be in a different place in my thinking.  I guess my natural bent prepared me well to value discernment and openness to the movement of the Spirit, to the growth and development of ideas.

But just thinking about the “grace of self doubt” and openness leads me to ask myself some hard questions.  When I hear someone condemned for their opinion or action, can I inject a note of positive possibility?  Can I put myself in the shoes of someone on the other side of an issue?  How can I keep the pathways of dialogue open with someone who thinks differently and passionately about something important to both of us?  Am I open to that dialogue?  Can I, can we, agree to disagree and still be friends?              

Dianne Just Thinking

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