From Max Ehrmann’s Desiderata:

“…and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.”

As I contemplate this line today it occurs to me that a constant failing is that of focusing on the messenger, not the message, or focusing on the receptacle, not the content.  There is some proof in Ehrmann’s line that this is a common malady.  I mean, is the “even the dull and ignorant” part even necessary.  The exhortation is really “listen to others, they too have their story” but there is this tendency to dismiss, not listen to, the story that comes in a package I don’t like.  There is, in effect, this pre-screening going on based on experience, bias, prejudice….  That is, experience be damned, I still believe I CAN judge a book by its cover because I am just that astute, that perceptive, that damn smart.  News Flash…!

Listen to others; they too have their story.  Not “your” story, but “their story.”  (Though it is surprising how often “their story” is, or at least intersects with, your story.)

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