For those of you who know me personally, I really like the show “Touched by an Angel.” I have almost all of the seasons on DVD, and I have the theme song on my phone. I was in deep conversation with a priest friend of mine last week who, to my surprise, did not appreciate the show’s greatness. He didn’t see it for the AMAZING show that it was, so we disagreed. So, that was it. I had a conversation with a priest who didn’t like “Touched by an Angel.” Ha! Just kidding. While I did have that conversation, this challenge was about truly engaging someone who was passionate about a particular issue. I greatly enjoyed talking to this person and learning her views on certain issues. This challenge required me to not only listen to someone else explain their point, but also to be open to their thoughts. When I was younger I always used to say “People always hear what you have to say, but they don’t always listen.” Meaning, we may say we are open to other people’s suggestions or thoughts, but we don’t really pay attention to them. Many times when we go into a conversation or a debate, we already have our answers in our heads, so all we are really doing is bantering about facts or opinions that we already have. We aren’t really discussing anything new. I think this is a HUGE issue when it comes to exploring the greatness of the world. If we only talk to those people we agree with we will never be challenged to be something greater than we currently are. This challenge helped me to realize that just because I may disagree with someone on a particular issue, doesn’t mean we can’t get along. I think it’s the whole approach “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.” (And no, I am not saying that people with differing views are bathwater.) But too many times we will avoid a person or a subject just because we feel it will “Change the relationship” or start a fight. But, if two people, or a group of people, give each person the respect they deserve, then a lot of good can come from the productive conversation. But, we first MUST be respectful, and then OPEN to hear things we may not agree with or understand. Boom!