Sometimes I feel like I am surrounded by a narrow-minded, non-caring society. Who said what to whom, who bullied whom, who likes someone or something, who their friend (or not) or how they were wronged seems to be the general everyday tone.  What they “like” or “don’t like” appears to be all that counts, and quite honestly I don’t understand it.  I am fortunate to remember a more civil time when our focus was caring for each other instead of tearing each other down. We were curious about what others thought, felt, believed and respected each other’s differences. But now I see more attention focused on each other’s personal preferences then in sharing or creating conversation which encourages learning and growth. 

When did we quit fully listening to one another and start to base our decisions on single dimensions such as “like ” or “unlike”? Why do our personal beliefs need to be commented on or worse approved of? How do we expand our minds when we limit our input of information or data based on single word or line? What happened to face to face conversation and communication, where we sought out to understand the other person, “walked in their shoes”, expressed more than symbols in response to their concerns but really dug deep to help and fully understand them? I believe a key component to communication is being open, available, a good listener and to ask questions, encourage, support and really being there for someone. This takes more than a minute of our time it is a gift we give when we truly care about another. Webster says “communication is an act or instance of transmitting information; a process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, sign or behavior”. Webster says nothing about the need for us to agree or “like” the information in order for communication to occur.

 I think back to a time when my children were young. When they started eating solid food, I fed them a wide variety.  It wasn’t long till they started telling me what they liked or disliked. Over time, as they tried new things, their taste expanded.  I wonder what would have happened if at the age of two or three I fed them only carrots, because that is what they “liked”?  In order to grow and learn they needed to eat a variety of foods.  Just like I believe what out society needs to do, i.e expand their information palette in order to communicate and learn from each other. 

Wouldn’t it be nice to start having conversations, face to face, where we truly can watch our friend, sister or child open up and find their truth and listen fully. I know that internet and cell phones are important for certain types of messaging and connecting. But to communicate, where it is meaningful and insightful, we must make a effort to reach out and really get to know each other multidimensionaly, with openness and no judgment or hate, especially when we don’t agree with one another.  Learn to expand our communication and connection. Watch how their eyes dance or become sad, how their body moves or their voice become expressive. This gives us deeper insight and ability to learn the truer meaning of their words. Explore how to discuss subjects such as politics, religion, social problems, etc. without creating hostility.  Learning from another is always enlightening, and we in turn become able to form more insightful opinions thru such a discussion. We need to once again speak from our hearts, not be afraid to voice our opinions, listen intently, respect our differences, take the time to express ourselves and say more than yes or no; “like” or “dislike”, embrace our similarities and constructively communicate to re-build a more open, just and caring society.  

 Barbara is a practitioner trained in the Equine Gestalt Coaching Method so she can help women explore, discover and find the possible. She is a retired professional engineer and follows her inner compass to maintain balance and well-being. She lives with her husband, dogs, cats, horses and cows at Wayfinding Farm, located near Ocala Florida. Wayfinding with Horses, LLC is a coaching service developed to help women achieve somatic and sensory connection with their innate potential. For more information about EGCMethod® coaching and finding well-being contact Barbara at (