Consider this: Humans have lived for thousands and thousands of years. Think about the amount of experience accrued! If each generation listened to the wisdom gained from the previous one, what would the world look like this far into our human timeline?
But, sadly, we don’t listen. We think we know better. If you need proof, just look around you. We make the same mistakes we always have, because we apparently have to make them ourselves. So that experience, rather than the wisdom others have gained, can show us.
Some people say “Well, we’re better off now than we were.” Are we? If you stare at something like “technology” with blinders on, maybe you can pretend that’s true. As long as you don’t glance left or right and see that we still suffer from hate, jealousy, worry, and unreasonable anger over insignificant things, sure. We’re much better off, when you ignore all the places we’re exactly the same as our ancient ancestors.
This is dark, but there’s a ridiculously bright light amongst it.
When we know this is what we do, we can change. We can open our ears and listen. We can read books not just to absorb the how-to information or be entertained, but look for the why. We can watch TV with eyes that aren’t glazed over, and make it a conscious experience. It takes a lot of trust. We have to believe that the old woman who has seen it all has something precious to share. Something that can catapult us further along our journey and skip so much trial and error. So much suffering.
How often do you listen to those who came before you? Really listen, and not just smile, nod, and move on to experiments of your own? I know I don’t do it nearly enough. Thankfully knowing that means I have the option to change it, and when you know, you can change it too.
This week, if you’d like, remind yourself to really listen. Absorb. The world flies by you at a rapid pace, but you can hit the pause button and be present with the lessons others have to share that are right in front of you. What might the world look like next week, if we all listened now?