The art of listening and understanding

There is a theme that I have been noticing for a while now, especially within the realms of social media, but not limited to this. I've also noticed when listening to group conversations and other scenarios. 

It's seems that people have lost the ability to listen and understand each other when they are of differing opinions.

At the moment this is especially the case of those who are pro vaccine and those who are anti vaccine. Let me make it clear I am of neither camp, I believe in each persons right of choice of what they want to do with their own individual bodies.

When listening to these conversations whether online or in person, people once they have their opinion don't appear to be willing to hear anyone else's opinion that does not match their own.

This is a big disconnect within society, for if we are not willing to hear another person out, than how are we able to understand each other?

That is after all the art of understanding. 

This does not mean we all have to agree with one view or the other, but we should be attempting to understand another person's view point without judgement.

Taking the Covid vaccine debate, perhaps the pro vaccine person has lost family members to the illness making them more likely to get the vaccination, on the other side perhaps the person who is anti vaccine has had family members who had adverse reactions or possible lost their lives after taking the vaccine making them wary of taking the vaccine.

Both people have experienced loss so each person should be able to understand why the other has an opposing view of the same topic. Neither is wrong or right they have come to their stand due to their experiences.

The only way to get to that understanding is allowing the other person to tell their story than you can reach that place of understanding.

This is the way forward for all of us, sitting down and listening to the other person and coming away with an understanding of how they came to their conclusion. 

It doesn't mean you need to change your opinion, but it does mean you will build tolerance in a society that has become very decisively divided on so many things.

Next time you come across a person with a differing view, instead of telling them that they are wrong, perhaps sit down with them over a cup of tea or coffee and ask them to explain why as you want to understand, then perhaps we can come together in a more peaceful, tolerant way of life.