In nearly every speech, Mayor Fischer likes to talk about Louisville being a compassionate city. It’s a wonderful, aspirational goal worth striving for, but the truth is, we’re not there yet.
As someone who has lived in seven different cities in my life, Louisville is the kindest, most welcoming, and most convivial city I’ve ever lived in.
But like anywhere else, we can still be quick to be offended when our skin should be a little thicker, and quick to condemn the actions of others without walking in their shoes. Some of us are quick to take out a little bit more than we’ve put in, and sometimes we’re too quick to feel put upon. We want everyone to see our anger or pain without trying to understand theirs. Compassion really struggles in that environment.
Steven Covey wrote a best seller called Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. One of those habits he suggested we embrace, and I think the most important one is this: Seek first to understand, then to be understood. Most people listen with the intent to reply, not to understand. At any given moment, they’re either speaking or preparing to speak.
If all of us spent more time emphatically listening, and trying to understand other people’s struggles before announcing our own, then, I think we could take huge steps toward becoming the compassionate city Mayor Fischer envisions.
I’m Bill Lamb, and that’s my Point of View.