It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. . .

The title of this blog is a quote by Aristotle, likely written about 350 BC.  It’s an amazingly meaningful quote, I think, and if lived by, would be world changing.  I was on the phone this morning with a group of business folks discussing the application of this thought in our work lives and for certain, it could play a big role there.  It would allow brain-storming to go to a whole new level.  And conflict resolution would be greatly advanced too.  But I think our personal lives would vastly improve also if we allowed for the differing opinions of others.  We can agree to disagree.  But even better,  we can even seek to see the other person’s perspective with clarity.  Respecting another person’s perspective is mind changing and mood altering too.  We simply are not right all of the time.  And it frees us of an awful burden when we understand this.

One of the greatest thoughts I heard when I got involved in Al-Anon was that I didn’t have to join every fight I was invited to.  That bit of wisdom was not practiced in my family of origin.  At least not by me.  So I took what I had learned when I left home into every relationship, whether they were in the workplace or with friends or relationship partners.  It goes without saying that my life was filled with tension.  Always.

But the tension that haunted me for decades visits me very seldom now.  Knowing that there is another way to experience life, knowing that we can appreciate the words of others freely and not be bound by them is a significant awareness.  The words of Aristotle, though written long ago are not less true today. Having the chance to remember him and practice what he professed makes each one of us a better person.  What a great day today can be.

30 Comments

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      Thanks for asking. Karen

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  23. noreen keating says:

    I love the statement, “I don’t have to join every fight I was invited to” and I will try to emulate that in my day to day interactions

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