Understanding is one of our most basic needs. Its important prerequisites are deep compassion and good listening. It’s about digging deeper, looking deeper and going beyond the usual shallow exchange that we have become accustomed to.

Understanding is intimately connected with compassion and listening and requires both. It is not about your ego or telling your own story. It is not about judgment. It does not involve agreement. It is not about compliance. It is about accepting and recognizing that someone else’s point of view may be different from our own and that is ok.

True understanding is absolutely unconditional and allows us to walk a mile in the shoes of others because there is always more to the story. It lays at the heart of any meaningful relationship. It requires honesty, openness and respect.

It also takes humility and practice – these two ingredients that make the world an even better place. It’s the greatest power we have and when put to good use, it can have an amazing impact on the lives of those around us.

As Leonardo da Vinci said: The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding.

Harriet Moutsopoulos
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