Bigotry, ARTICLE ON from Warriors' Journeys

  • Bigotry, ARTICLE ON

I wanted to share this experience, while it is fresh in my mind. Over the last few weeks, it became more and more apparent that my wife and I could barely sit down and have an evening conversation without it becoming an argument of sorts.

It wasn't explicitly argumentative, but the more I stalked it, the more I could feel that, despite the subtleties and the tissue of words to deny any such confrontation, there was quite a fight going on, in which there will be one winner and one loser.

So, I started to stalk myself in these interactions. In one example, I shared my experience of a documentary I had watched on the making of a contemporary opera. My wife then took this and came back with a long piece about classical music, which to cut a long story short, was a "put down" of sorts to the contemporary approach.

What I noticed was that I became quite attached to my own version, my description, and even while listening to her, my own version was ever present. This created quite a tension between us, with me certainly not truly listening, and not wanting to give up my "position".

When I asked her about this, she admitted that she had "gone over the top".

The next day, we had another conversation, but the roles were reversed. She was sharing an experience with perception, and on hearing it, I shared something that seemed related.

She was clearly not happy with what I had shared, and in challenging me about this, she said that it was like I wasn't really listening to her, and kept saying other stuff which didn't match her experience. In effect, she was holding onto her version, as I was, and not wanting to allow a different version to point up new aspects.

But then, why hold on so tightly to a particular view?

My feeling was of wanting to enjoy a one-up position. So she would share, and I might add something "clever" to show my superiority. Then, she would resent that and come back with a defense, and this works quite the same in the mirror.

This may seem like an insignificant behaviour - the holding tight to a position - but then, when you look across and along your life, it is quite astounding in how many places this crops up.

My not-doing from this, is to place my focus, not onto holding tight, but on loosening my hold on "my position," to create the space for a more open exploration.

Should be fun!