“It is the province of knowledge to speak, and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen”

This quote is by Oliver Wendell Holmes and also attributed to Jimmy Hendrix: Knowledge speaks but wisdom listens.

I think it sums up beautifully my meeting with V this morning. It made me think about the power of “Listening” throughout the day. I remembered how many times I tried to shower my friends, my husband, my family members and others with advices.

“If i were you, I would have done that”, “you can try doing this”, “I know X who tried this and that and haven’t got any results”… and so on and on…

It was not about me not giving advices anymore, because sometimes a person comes to me and IS seeking my opinion on a certain matter and I will be glad to share with him any experience I have. BUT the issue here is about listening, really listening. Because sometimes what this other person is seeking is only someone who can listen, with empathy, objectively and without any judgment on one hand and a ready-to-give advice on the other.

He or she just wants to free a certain space in his being from something that is heavy, oppressing, sad or angry before even trying (and maybe not) putting something else in place.

I have always believed that intolerance is the worst state in which a human being can be. Intolerance towards himself, towards others and towards life itself.

Intolerance make us want to change constantly. I am not against change. what I am saying is 2 things:

on one hand, ACCEPTANCE is the first part of change. There is a french word (from my friend Z) that tells beautifully how we can be tolerant: “Bienveillance”. “Bien” is good and “Veillance” is to watch over!!! Can you imagine how beautiful that is to watch over ourselves and over others with goodness. To be kind and easy on ourselves and others and on life itself.

On the other hand, change can be so harmful to oneself and to the other when change evolves around treating our body and our soul with hostility (and don’t we often do that?!) and treating others in the same way (think about all wars that have happened and still happening in the world in the name of “pretending NONSENSLY that one civilization knows what is best for another”, and destructive criticism we do with others constantly!!)

So my dear friends, practice some “Bienveillance” when you will think about yourself today and when you will look into someone else’s eyes…and please please please smile!!!

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