I am offering my apologies upfront for the number of expletives.
New Year’s resolutions are bullshit.
Well, maybe, at least for this year. Listen, we’re guilty of the cliché and well-intentioned list of New Year’s resolutions just like everyone else (lose weight, learn a language, quit smoking, run a marathon). Every year we look at basically the same fucking list. But this year we want all of us to do something different.
No, we NEED to do something different.
This year let’s stop blowing smoke up each other’s asses or going the opposite route being completely belligerent. Let’s take a minute to focus on just one thing. Warning: this one thing takes a tremendous amount of effort, patience, and comes with a learning curve attached. However, you won’t sweat doing it, study hard, need to travel or have to quit smoking (although we would like you to quit) but it does take the shape of an exercise and it takes making an investment.
I know what you might be thinking, get to the fucking point. So, without further ado, here’s that one thing to do in 2017: please take a minute to listen. No, really. Listen. That’s it.
After a year of all talking all the time, we need a year of listening.
Yes, listening. An art form we seem to have lost in 2016. A year where conversations turned into debates, debates turned into arguments, and arguments turned into fights with family, friends, work associates, and strangers.
Now, let’s be honest for one goddamn minute. We all carry a quiver full of objection-handling arrows ready to fire that support our way of thinking. How many of us enter a conversation without spending a moment actually listening to the words someone is speaking and just waiting for the sound to stop coming out of that hole in the middle of their face so we can draw back our bow and take aim?
Enough is enough. Each one of us only needs one asshole in our lives.
So, let’s enter each conversation in 2017 by actually listening to the words others are saying, as opposed to only thinking about a response or retort. Let’s exercise our empathy muscle and when we listen we do so with the intent of understanding so well we might be able to explain that person’s point of view to a child.
Always keep in the back of your mind the mighty and meaningful words of Maya Angelou: “We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.”
Happy New Year!