We've all been on one side or another of a particular point of view or belief. Depending on how the opposing side was presented, we either listen politely or put up our defenses. Someone who is passionate (not always educated) about their views, sometimes lack in listening skills which puts others on the defense, When on the defense, people tend to turn off their listening skills (the la-la-la approach) as well.
We tend to get into a win or lose state of mind. We want to win. We don't want to lose the argument or debate we are in. We often don't care if we actually know what we are talking about instead of listening and possibly learning from each other.
This goes for religions and cultures and lifestyles. What happens if you cross the line or open yourself up to another point of view just to understand a little better? Nothing happens to you. If anything happens, it is probably something good. Listening doesn't mean you have to become.
If you listen to what a Democrat or what a Republican believes is true, it doesn't mean you have to change your beliefs...unless you decide to.
If you learn more about another religion or culture, it doesn't mean you have to believe in it or do what they do.,,,,unless you decide to.
If you see someone else's point of view no matter what the situation is, it doesn't mean you have to adopt that point of view...unless you decide to.
Seeing another point of view can be a win/win if you are open to it. Listening a little more, being more open and possibly learning something new can open up your world to having more love and compassion for others. It may even help us to join together to fight a bigger cause rather than divide us.
Everyone interprets the world the way they need to to understand it and live in it.
Most of the time, it isn't the way you might do it, but guess what? The way you are doing it might not be the way they would do it either.
The video below has Artist Raghava KK demos his new children's book for iPad with a fun feature: when you shake it, the story -- and your perspective -- changes. In this charming short talk, he invites all of us to shake up our perspective a little bit.
Here is another link with his story: http://www.ted.com/talks/raghava_kk_five_lives_of_an_artist.html