The Decisive Moment

I faced a decisive moment yesterday.

Without providing the detail, just let me say that I shared an idea that I believed had tremendous power and truth. I knew when I shared it that some of my friends would be troubled by it. But I wanted them to read it and think about it. Some read, some thought about it, and some responded.

And that’s when the decisive moment surfaced.

S-b Logo.001I’ve been writing about the Better Understanding Project. To this point, I have hovered around the first step — a commitment to the principle of what I have called in other arenas, the “Three Cs” (Communication, Conversation, Community). More about that will be unveiled in my next article.

The second step in the Better Understanding Project is to identify a thought or a concept that is worthy of exploring and put it out there for others to consider. That is what I did yesterday.

But I’m skipping to the third step in the Project process, because I was surprised when I reached it yesterday.

You see, the third step in the Better Understanding Project is to personally resubmit to the process. It is the decisive moment for success.

After I launched the idea for others to consider yesterday, I was warmed by the positive responses I received. But then, I received a single negative reply. Succinctly worded, a friend simply said, “I don’t agree. But I hope you have a great day.”

My first inclination was to force my friend to reconsider or to assume that he misunderstood the thought or, if all else failed, to belittle him for his lack of mental acuity. After all, something was wrong if he didn’t agree with me.

Then it hit me. He had done exactly what he should have done. He considered the idea, he discerned his personal position, and he firmly, yet kindly, made that known to me.

And I almost blew it with my self-centered response.

But it was the decisive moment. And I decided to resubmit to the process — to see if I could come to a better understanding of his thought processes and his values.

“Thanks for letting me know,” I replied. And I’ve begun crafting my next conversation. When I reached the decisive moment, I found that I truly want to come to a better understanding.

It’s this third step that will set us apart. I hope that you will be thinking of what you will do in that decisive moment. It’s coming.

4 thoughts on “The Decisive Moment

  1. Joey, It is interesting that you posted this and that I read it today. I noticed your friends response to your ‘shared’ article and wondered to myself what I would do in that moment if it had happened to me. Well, I had one of my previous High School student place a question on my wall. “Mrs. Boe what did you think about the Book Captivating, I am reading it and think it is wonderful!” Well, being her previous high school bible teacher I was concerned about the consequences of my response, but decided to be honest. “I have read it and have mixed feelings about it”. Of course she wanted more detail…so I gently told her that from my perspective…..” Then, following my post a friend, and current teacher chimed into our conversation and said the book changed her life and she love it and she totally disagreed with my opinion (very strongly I might add!). I, too had the same thoughts…I could argue with her, I could tell her in more detail why I did not care for it, I could quote some scripture (that always comes across great and humble doesn’t it!! 😉 ) But, instead I decided to support her experience with the contents of the book, after all it drew her closer to the Lord and that is what really mattered. It was interesting…the student then responded, “This conversation is so interesting between you two, I’m so glad I got to listen in!”
    Just thought I would let you know…I’m trying to reposition my heart, and my mind and stop and think before I engage in a conversation with someone who has a different perspective than I. To use a great teaching analogy…I’m trying to go ‘below the line’ of the iceberg and see the ‘bigger picture’. Thanks for helping me!!
    Susan Boe

    • Susan, I wrote and deleted that post a couple of times. I didn’t really want to be transparent and admit that I struggled against the very reactions I teach others to overcome . . . but I do. Yet, the key is to ensure that we have that space within us that allows for others to be at a different place and a soft heart that welcomes them and acknowledges that we might not be totally correct. Many times I don’t immediately feel that space. It takes a conscientious effort.

      Thanks for telling your story and being transparent. In truth, most of those of us who are in pursuit of peace have the same struggles as every one else. That, of course, is what makes the journey significant and real. I’m so glad you’re part of my journey. And I am so grateful that your student was able to witness a “better understanding” event.

      Grace and peace.

  2. Randy Harris said something years ago that is profound. I may not have the quote right but it is close. ” The goal of conversation or communication is to create a better understanding ( of the other person)” . The purpose of the 3 C’s is to create cohesiveness through communication, which is predicated on listening from the heart. At least that is my view.

    Thanks for sharing this!

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