You don’t have to agree.
When you practice humility — and it is a conscious practice — you are cultivating connection and acceptance through the willingness to understand another person’s perspective, values, and beliefs.
Humility is seeking to understand how you, and the person you’re in communion with, show up in the world. You’re seeking the truth about them and yourself without the need to be right. And you’re building a bridge to recognize both your contributions and place in the world — and for the common good.
This is the dance between understanding and being right.
A healthy common good requires free-flowing communication.
The root meaning of communication is to commune, to share your intimate thoughts or feelings with someone else.
Quality communication requires vulnerability and open-hearted courage to share our truth — openly — which cultivates trust and supports acceptance and connection. The more we trust another person, the deeper the connection. The deeper the connection, the more you’ll accept — or at least understand — that person.
Unfortunately, this is not our current norm.
Talking over or talking at someone, or shouting, ignoring, and cancelling is the tragic norm
None of those options is skillful for connection, acceptance, understanding, open-heartedness, humility, empathy, impartiality, or the common good.
If you start a conversation from the place of, I’m right, and you’re wrong — or bad/evil — you destroy healthy dialogue and constructive debate. This acts as a metaphorical wall instead of a bridge to connection.
Just because you think something is true doesn’t make it de facto true.
If you don’t know why you believe what you believe — why you ‘believe’ that you’re right — intellectual humility will be challenging or next to impossible.
The more uncritical and dogmatic your beliefs, the greater your unwillingness to understand. Dogma is like a prison that locks out open-mindedness and human-heartedness. Emotions like hate, defensiveness, disgust, and self-righteousness accompany this kind of thinking.
The biggest threat to humanity is when people foster radically prejudicial beliefs that deny universal human dignity.
If you don’t believe every human being deserves dignity, you place yourself in a category of superiority that can lead — at worst — to crimes against humanity.
This has happened before. This is happening now.
The opposite of love is not hate but rather indifference.
By extension, indifference corrodes recognizing the value of human dignity.
This is why humility is a necessary practice — and a life-long practice — that works to bring us back from the brink of extreme prejudice and self-serving egoism.
Topic for another article: humility starts from within. You must seek to understand your own truth without prejudice — without self-judgement — before you can recognize and honour the dignity of others.