07-22-2018 Seek First to Understand

Our Lady of the Holy Rosary-St. Richard Catholic Church
Journey of Faith
July 22, 2018 - SIXTEENTH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME
PLEASE PRAY FOR THE SAFE RELEASE OF LEAH SHARIBU AND OTHERS WHO ARE HELD CAPTIVE BECAUSE THEY REFUSE TO RENOUNCE THEIR CHRISTIAN FAITH
Opening Prayer
Scripture Readings
"It is impossible to overemphasize the immense need humans have to be really listened to, to be taken seriously, to be understood. No one can develop freely in this world and find a full life without feeling understood by at least one other person. . . .Listen to the conversations of our world, between nations as well as those between couples. They are for the most part dialogues of the deaf.”
Dr. Paul Tournier
SEEK FIRST TO UNDERSTAND, THEN TO BE UNDERSTOOD
Whose shoes are you standing in when you look out at the world around you?

Everyone has a viewpoint. That is, everyone views the world from their limited point in space and time. This view can be framed, colored, or clouded by our prior experiences, perspectives, interests, awareness, education and knowledge, understanding, emotions, beliefs, assumptions, preconceptions, blind spots, prejudices, and the groups and cultures to which we belong. From our view, we may be unable to see the “big picture,” the forest through the trees, or the views, perspectives, or interests that others see or have.

Generally, the more I step back from a situation, the more I should be able to see. For example, if you use the “Google Earth” program, you can “zoom in” to one particular location and your view is focused and quite limited in scope. Alternatively, you can “zoom out” to the point where you visualize and see the planet Earth in its wholeness.

Similarly, with respect to relationships, we can focus on one person who is immediately present to us, which is important. But we can also see that one person as being a member of the entire human family on Earth, which is just as important.

Likewise, we can view an issue solely from our or our group’s limited perspective. In doing this, we may choose to ignore or reject the perspectives of others, even to the point where we refuse to listen to or under-stand what their perspectives are. We engage in “dialogues of the deaf,” where nobody seeks to listen to or understand one another. As Stephen Covey said in Seven Habits of Highly Successful People, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” As Jesus taught :
Stop judging, that you may not be judged. For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you. Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’ while the wooden beam is in your eye? You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye. (Matt 7:1-5).
Before we can adequately seek to solve the complex social issues facing us today, we need to first understand what the real issues and respective interests are, and the different perspectives underlying them. Only then can we begin to find “win/win” rather than “win/lose” solutions to resolving these interests for the “common good.” CST principles can guide us. 
Reflect on Your Experience
Do you or the groups to which you belong seek to obtain “win/win” solutions to issues?

What will help you to best listen to and seek first to understand the viewpoints of others?  
U.S. Catholic Catechism for Adults   Catecismo Catolico de Los Estadios Unidos para los Adultos  

Compendium on the Social Doctrine of the Church    Compendio de la Doctrina Social de la Iglesia

Videos
"Compassion and Kinship" (Fr. Gregory Boyle TEDx Talk)

"Win-Win versus Win-Lose"

"Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood"

"The Power of Listening" (William Ury - TEDx Talk)

"Think Win-Win"

"Getting to Yes in the Real World" (William Ury - TEDx Talk)
Music
"The More I Seek You"

"Hossanah"

"Here With You"

Other Resources

"Seek First to Understand, then to be Understood" (Covey)

"Win-Win, Win-Lose, and Lose-Lose Situations"

"Active Listening" (Mindtools)

Pope Francis on the "Golden Rule"

Social Services and Other Charitable Resources

Other Resources on Catholic Social Teaching
Reflection
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