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Woody Lovell: Examining Our Personal Virtues

Across the spectrum, people are trying to understand and process the world through different lived experiences. When we step outside the narrow lens of our own perspective, we gain the opportunity to make what has remained unconscious conscious.
 
The more willing we are to witness experiences and views that are different from our own, hold the space for such experiences to be seen and heard, and engage in meaningful dialogue with one another, the more fulfilled and understood our communities will ultimately become. As we reflect on ways to better ourselves and those around us, it’s worth examining which virtues are most needed now.

 

 

 

 

Patience

 

"Making the unconscious conscious is a lifetime process, and not a simple one. We live in a time where we are socially conditioned to want immediate results. We crave measurable, tangible metrics for improvement. In asking complex questions and examining deeply rooted pain,  great patience is required for both ourselves and others. Time is a prerequisite to all progress. People are showing up, speaking out, and seeing the world in new ways. Change takes stamina."

 

 

Compassion

 

"If our thoughts create our reality, and at every moment of waking life we are thinking, it’s reasonable to expect people to experience a limitless number of realities. What thoughts, experiences, and narratives are creating our perspectives? How do we drive compassion for different points of view? The answer lies in respecting each individual path. A person’s psychology is rooted in their unique, lived experience. When we allow individuals their own process for growth, we are able to hold one another accountable through a lens of compassion. Quiet your thinking down and compassion will fill the space."

 

 

Sensitivity

 

"Where I grew up, we were taught from boyhood to defend our manhood. Manliness was to be protected. As long as I’m busy defending my masculinity, I can’t show vulnerability, compassion, or empathy, but being a man doesn’t mean being tough, certain, and unaffected. Vulnerability is brave. It’s radical. When men show up in the community in a way that is sensitive to the needs and experiences of others, it’s powerful. We need to redefine masculinity. From where I sit, it looks like: Compassion, patience, openness and sensitivity. Take those virtues into your life and, regardless of what end you sit on, you’re on your way to a better place."

 

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