Introductions, Hospitality, and Ground Rules

Questions for Discernment

  • Why do we fear being wrong? Why is being wrong seen as a sign of weakness?
  • Have you ever felt the need to defend your position, even though you suspected you were wrong? Why? How did it turn out?
  • Is it a white and gold dress or a blue and black dress? Is it “Laurel” or “Yanny”? How can multiple people experience the same exact thing – even together and at the same time – and yet claim to have experienced vastly different things?
  • This course defines four virtues in the following ways:
      • Humility: A disposition to be humble. A lack of false pride.
      • Empathy: Understanding and entering into another’s feelings.
      • Compassion: Recognizing suffering and wanting to do something about it.
      • Kindness: Being warm hearted, considerate, and humane to others.

    Do you agree or disagree?

  • What are your definitions of  Humility, Empathy, Compassion, and Kindness?  How are these virtues interrelated?  Are some of these virtues prerequisites to others?

Homework Exercises

  • Recall a time when you were embarrassingly wrong about something. Consider what was more painful – the actual consequence of being wrong or the embarrassment.
  • What is a ‘hot topic’ with which you hold a very passionate opinion? What in your history makes you hold that position? Create a compelling argument that you could make to yourself that might convince you to think differently.
  • Then next time you have a difference of opinion with a friend which will likely end in an ‘agreement to disagree’, replace debating with repeating back to your friend what you’ve heard – as many times as it takes – until your friend confirms that you understand their position.  The goal is not that you agree, but that you understand.

For Contemplation

It does feel like something to be wrong. It feels like being right. -– Kathryn Schulz