What a crisis we would be in if we succumbed to any ignorant thinking that we must agree with someone in order to maintain respect, love and honor.  Seriously – if you have a friend, family member or spouse (and been married more than 5 minutes), you know you can and will disagree, while still loving and respecting them.

On one of my business trips last year, I had the opportunity to room with a precious young woman I’d met previously, but didn’t know well. She lives on the other side of the globe from me – from an entirely different background and culture.  I only knew she was a loving and devoted wife and mommy of 2 little ones.   We immediately hit it off like a couple of childhood friends reconnecting, sharing rich and deeply meaningful conversations.  We shared laughter and tears as we connected quickly in matters of the heart. I learned that in addition to running her busy household and her own business, she’s a grief recovery specialist who is the founder of a not-for-profit foundation that helps those who’ve had their hearts shattered by the loss of a child.

She’s smart, sweet, savvy and sensitive…oh, and not that it matters at all, but for the purposes of the point I’m making here, did I mention she happens to be Muslim?

To be completely transparent, I had no idea what to expect – and her knowing I was a Christian, neither did she.  So, guess why we hit it off so well?  We both showed up with love and respect.  It’s fascinating that 97% of our conversations were about all that we agreed on in life. You might be asking; “But what about the BIG 3% you didn’t agree on, Joan?”

Of course some of our beliefs are vastly different.  But because we both showed up with a childlike enthusiasm for a new adventure with a new friend, to be curious, ask questions, listen, learn and grow.   That’s exactly what we got!

I wonder what I would have missed out on had I allowed any ignorant or foolish thinking to creep in and dissuade me from that opportunity to grow my relationship with this amazing woman who is now, not only a colleague, but a friend.

I love Abraham Lincoln’s powerful perspective; “I don’t like that man.  I must get to know him better.”

“What the world needs now is love, sweet love It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of What the world needs now is love, sweet love No, not just for some but for everyone.”

“What the World Needs Now Is Love” – lyrics by Hal David and music composed by Burt Bacharach.