I had a conversation with one of my grandmothers this evening. If we are fortunate enough, we all should take time out of our busy lives to listen to their messages. Admittedly, we do not agree on everything. To me, it is not important that we do. Our love supersedes any disagreement.
There was a time when I would feel the need to express all of my views to my grandmother. If a subject matter arose and her opinion differed from mine, I would not hesitate to let her know it. Naively, I thought we were just having a conversation. What I had not realized was how passionate a speaker I can be at times. (In addition, I had not learned the power of my words.)
I am grateful to my mother, however, for her constant reminders to let it go. How silly I must have looked to my mother. There I would be, intensely arguing my position to a woman whose viewpoints were significantly shaped by decades of life experiences, not mere textbooks and news articles. Because of my mother’s guidance and example, I have since learned that I gain more wisdom in the long-run by unilaterally agreeing to disagree in silence. In truth, these disagreements do not happen much. When they do, however, I am more mindful of how to express myself and when to let her talk without interruption. By creating an environment in which she feels comfortable expressing herself, I can enjoy chats like the one we had tonight. I can experience her telling me that she loves me, her laughter, her joy. I can hear more of her life, her challenges, her victories, and her wants for my life. She can bestow within me insight and hope for a better tomorrow; I believe in its possibility because I can see that her “tomorrows” are better.
Oh how I love seeing the brightness in my grandmother’s face when she smiles. It makes me happy. Her love is a blessing, as well as her honesty. Without knowing it, she has taught me to always consider the BIG PICTURE of communication. What is its purpose? What is the heart of the speaker? How important is the topic of discussion to me, really?
I do not expect, nor do I prefer, those in my intimate circle to be carbon copies of myself. There are particular character traits that each must have, but I appreciate being a part of a diverse, mature circle. I am stronger for it. I am wiser because of it. Certainly, I am more blessed.