In reading the recap of this week’s news, I came across Hillary Clinton’s message supporting marriage equality. The subject of her statement, while important, is not what got my attention. I was drawn to a word she uses to describe the respectful discussion of ideas (found between 4:27-4:57 on the video).
The word is reflection. The definition of the intransitive verb reflect is: to think quietly and calmly and to express a thought or opinion resulting from reflection. The noun reflection is defined as: a thought, idea, or opinion formed or a remark made as a result of meditation. These are concepts and actions we need to use more frequently in all communication. We are often so focused on being heard, making a point or getting enough air time that we just fire pieces of thoughts out of our mouths or fingers. We do not take the time to reflect.
What would happen if we paused and actually reflected on our own thoughts? What about another person’s ideas? I don’t just mean when we disagree or are in conflict – being respectful and thoughtful just seems like good manners. And what might happen if we reflected on the conversations that are easy and agreeable?
While I’m all for talking to think, when it comes to discussing different points of view, solving problems and making real connections with others by means of conversation, sharing our reflections does much more for the quality of our communication than trading unconsidered chatter.
So today, reflect on one idea you have. What do you think or feel or believe and why? Reflect calmly and with care. I wonder what will happen.