Willing to be Changed, Episode 147

Most of us were never taught to admit we don’t know – and as a result we hold onto our positions and beliefs no matter what. Others of us learned early on that the most important thing we could do was get along with others, and so we routinely give up what we see or care about in order to avoid disagreement. At the heart of both positions is a kind of distrust – distrust that we can still take up our place in the world even if we’re changed by our enounter with other people, or even if we have an opinion that matters to us. And at the heart of both is our fear that, if we let ourselves be fully in the conversation, we will no longer belong. Episode 147 of Turning Towards Life is a conversation about learning how to belong with one another even when we see things differently, with Lizzie Winn and Justin Wise of Thirdspace.

This is Turning Towards Life, a weekly live 30 minute conversation hosted by Thirdspace in which Justin Wise and Lizzie Winn dive deep into big questions of human living. Find us on FaceBook to watch live and join in the lively conversation on this episode. We’re also on YouTube, and as a podcast on Apple, Google and Spotify. You can find videos of every episode, and more about the project on the Turning Towards Life website.

Our source for this week is chosen for us by Justin.

Willing to be Disturbed

We weren’t trained to admit we don’t know. Most of us were taught to sound certain and confident, to state our opinion as if it were true. We haven’t been rewarded for being confused. Or for asking more questions rather than giving quick answers. We’ve also spent many years listening to others mainly to determine if we agree with them or not…

It’s impossible for any two people to ever see things exactly the same… [And] to be curious about how someone else interprets things we have to be willing to admit we’re not capable of figuring things out alone…

When so many interpretations are available, I can’t understand why we would be satisfied with superficial conversations where we pretend to agree with one another.

What surprises and disturbs me [is] a very useful way to see [my] invisible beliefs. If what you say surprises me, I must have been assuming something else was true. If what you say disturbs me, I must believe something contrary to you. My shock at your position exposes my own position. When I hear myself saying “How could anyone believe something like that?” a light comes on for me to see my own beliefs.

These moments are great gifts.

Margaret Wheatley – from ‘Turning To One Another’


Photo by Philippe D. on Unsplash