SEPTEMBER 18, 2010 11:42AM

Listen, Think, Question, Learn

Rate: 16 Flag

Listen to your detractors. You can sometimes learn more from the honesty of someone who is not trying to be your friend.

Think for yourself. "Consider the source" is generally good advice, but even bad sources sometimes make good sense.

Question everything at least once.

Learn from others, learn from your mistakes, learn from your successes, learn from observation. Always keep learning. There is always room for improvement and it is always worth trying to improve.

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Thank you, Stellaa. You live this advice even better than I give it :)
Yesterday I listed 'a few things I know now that I didn't know then' in a post. Must be going around... I'm mildly surprised to see Stellaa agrees with these points which are, as she says, true and relevant. #1 is one of the simplest ways to enlightenment.
Why would you be surprised that Stellaa would agree with these, Gabby?
You know I'm all over this. So, so true. I tell you what, when I'm starting to feel all defensive and riled up in an argument, it usually means there's a kernel of truth I'm resisting owning up to. Sometimes it takes a while for the good sense of another, or merely his/her alternative worldview, to sink in, but there is absolutely room in my brain for new and even contradictory ideas. I think I made it my mission to be open minded when I read about the history of intelligence testing and realized that the single characteristic that psychologists and philosophers across the ages can agree represents intelligence is "flexibility of mind." It's like biological adaptation in a way, isn't it? We can stand firm in our little ideologies that made complete sense at one time and just watch the world go by without us. Or we can start to see things in a new way. Thanks for this, Susan. :)
Lainey, that's an interesting finding about flexibility. I also love that you mention holding contradictory ideas--I've long been comfortable with that one. Just means there are things not yet understood or worked out, I figure.

I think given the entrenched positions people take and the clashes and conflict that come from them, we need to foster better dialogue. Dialogue requires listening and paying attention, of course, so maybe that's where we start, promoting listening and learning from what we hear and see.
No need to search for adjectives other than Stellaa's. Though wise comes to mind.
I agreew with Stellaa and Stacey but am puzzled as well by Gabby.

I would add "sage advice".
Thanks, Stacey and o'stephanie. This has been on my mind a lot lately. I'm very glad it resonates with both of you, although I don't think either of you can be accused of not listening and learning and thinking and questioning.
Somewhat related: I watched a Peanuts movie about the Constitution (strange, I know) with a class of third graders yesterday and we talked about how much arguing there was at the Convention. I think it's important for kids to realize that learning new things and becoming smarter involves conflict. It can be done civilly, of course, and sometimes it's not, but conflict is still necessary for the generation of new ideas. They were kind of interested in the idea of the Founding Fathers yelling at each other.
I've learned a lot from cartoons, Lainey ;p

I think that argument can be a very good thing. Even passionate arguments that leave people pissed off can generate very good results. Where it breaks down is when people decide they don't like old Ben Franklin and are not going to agree with him no matter what he says. For that matter, they are going to disagree with everyone who is sitting over there with old Ben.

Not that I am telling you anything you don't already know, Lainey. I just wanted to use Ben Franklin in an example. :}
Wonderful and strong.
Plus a big shout out to living in Jackson. Home of Melton and Johnson! Stay strong.
Scylla! You obviously know Jackson! I don't know your background (I'll go say hi on your page in a minute), but Frank Melton's tenure was one of the more interesting times in this town. Johnson is too slow to do what needs to be done but overall he's a decent mayor in my opinion.
I like to call myself a student of life. Life is always teaching if one stops to listen. Good advice.
It is indeed, Kent. I think I probably could sum up all the advice I have to offer anyone is two words: Pay attention.
4everlearnin, it sounds from your screen name like you didn't need me to tell you this ;)

jane, I think it can be good to have strong opinions, but the best way to have confidence in our opinions is to allow them to be challenged! That helps us either strengthen our argument or change our point of view in light of a valid criticism.
Well done, my dear!

"I also love that you mention holding contradictory ideas--I've long been comfortable with that one. Just means there are things not yet understood or worked out, I figure."

With a little tooling, this thought could be reworked into a brilliantly folksy epigram.
I like that idea, Monsieur. And as always, I am so happy that you stopped by.
Susan,I try to live your advice too..Thank you for sharing..Rated with best regards.