"Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward. When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand." – Karl A. Menninger
Our strength as a human race comes from diversity. Let’s start with a simple idea in economics that Adam Smith talked about over 200 years ago in his book Wealth of Nations.
The idea is called Division of Labor in which one person doing one thing over and over will outproduce the person that is doing multiple things at a job. And so by working together and relying on each other’s strengths that company will grow faster and outperform others.
Smith gave the famous example of pins. He asserted that ten workers could produce 48,000 pins per day if each of eighteen specialized tasks was assigned to particular workers. Average productivity: 4,800 pins per worker per day. But absent the division of labor, a worker would be lucky to produce even one pin per day…
Specialization alone is enough to reward advances such as currency, accounting, and other features of market economies.
Just like in economics it also applies to the human race, when we look at it as a whole. The strength that we have as a human race comes from the ability to work together and understand that we all have different strengths and use those strengths to advance as a race. Under those differing opinions is another human being.
We can produce amazing things by working together and by accepting that it’s normal to have a different point of view, a different culture, a different religion, different political affiliation, and just different altogether.
It all starts with listening, and not just regular old listening…
Many of us are under a false impression that what we listen to has to make sense. Imagine if that were true, we would never learn anything new! When you approach life acknowledging that some of the things you listen to will not feel good, they won’t make sense, and they will not be free from emotional pain then you will be ready to listen.
Truly listening is a challenge because all of us have biases, truths, opinions, and an ego. All of those will definitely get in the way of truly connecting with those that are truly different than you.
Thank you for reading A Brilliant Tribe!