"People with opinions just go around bothering each other." (Attributed to The Buddha)
These days, it seems like everyone has an opinion, everyone is expected to share their opinion, and everyone must defend their opinion. Lately I've noticed it's really quite boring and sometimes exhausting, defending and constructing and debating everything -- although the process is often is mistaken for excitement or intimacy.
Last week, at a meeting with colleagues, I found myself more interested in stating my opinion than listening to the others, and was really surprised to realize that each of us were quite attached to our ideas and ways of doing. The week before, a friend and I spent nearly an hour in an upscale wine bar disagreeing about American politics. Although we were both well-informed, passionate, and polite, exchanging opinions and trying to persuade each other of our respective "rightness" isn't really communicating at all. When the evening ended I didn't feel any connection or closeness to her, and I doubt she to me.
Real connection can only occur when we let go of clinging to our wants, ideas, and control. Letting go of our defenses and opening to receptivity and vulnerability, we can meet each other as we are instead of as we want each other to be or how we want others to perceive us. I'm going to practice listening instead of talking, and saying "yes" instead of saying "no". I have a feeling I'll be much more at ease if it all turns out the way you think you want it rather than the way I think I want it.