Deeply embedded in my life motto is to understand. I want to help others to become happier by understanding themselves and others. I think that through really wanting to understand ourselves and others, we can alleviate most of our pains. But how to become good at understanding?
Setting the intention to want to understand is already good. However, recently I think that it might not be enough, or better, it might not be the first step. Reading the book The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss, which speaks about seeing as a means to understand and recent arguments with a dear person in my life, let me think about my level of understanding.
I think that trying to understand without really seeing or listening is like assessing a play through thick curtains. I might see something here and there and I might also hear sounds, but I am far away from getting the whole picture.
I think one signal to tell, if you are not completely ready to want to understand, is giving unsolicited advice. I still do it sometimes. It has gotten better, though sometimes, I still feel the urge to jump in and “help”. I think that part of understanding is realizing that often other people know the answers to their own problems and just need someone to speak to. Kind of a mirror but with empathy and sympathy.
So, I try to be more of a seer and of a listener. I set my intention to be and remain curious. I think I need to learn it a bit more, if I want to work towards my life motto with success. I think that we have enough good examples for how to do it. Just think about the famous researcher and discoverer of our and ancient times. They studied long and intensely to understand their object. Often, they had to approach their study by acknowledging their own ignorance. I can say that I am ignorant myself. In many areas of my life. Only by realizing this can I make progress.
The goal is to become good at understanding with the chance of knowing. Though even then it doesn’t mean that I want to first see and listen. So, the way to go is: become a good seer & listener, then you are better equipped to understand, and then, you might have a chance of knowing.
Have a wonderful day and take care!