Mind if I rant?

Cool. Because at some point — I’m not exactly sure when it was — I woke up and couldn’t seem to find my ability to think for myself without deeply offending someone.

Lest I post a pic of what I’m eating so I can endure the inevitable wrath of those who vehemently disagree with my grass-fed beef patty.

Or dare I attempt to discuss anything remotely political and potentially lose a friendship.

I mean, we do understand that, as human beings, we’re allowed to have dissimilar belief systems, right?

At what point will we finally accept the fact that we don’t all have to believe the same things and have the same ideas and opinions?

These days, it can feel like our relationships are built on a foundation of bitten tongues and half-listening ears.

Because if you express who you really are and what you really think, you risk not being truly listened to. Just exiled for not participating in the groupthink. Unfriended. Publicly shamed on your social media feed.

I always say, there are as many belief systems as there are people on this planet — the inevitable result of our diverse upbringings, life experiences, and our distinctive interpretations of what we’ve experienced.

Rather than making our differences a cause for our clashes, we’d all be better served by the art of conversation. Communication without accusation. Listening with an open heart. Actually taking the less-traveled path of understanding, without trying to change anyone’s mind.

Is that too much to ask?

Can our ego-driven compulsions to reflexively slap a “wrong” label on anything that falls outside the boundaries of our own personal beliefs systems be set aside in the interest of tolerance and real communication?

I hope so.

But first we have to rediscover that lost art that has the power to connect us all — the forgotten art of conversation.

Today on the podcast, Celeste Headlee delivers her 10 best tips for having more authentic conversations and becoming a better listener, and learning from each other. Number 9 is by far my favorite. Tap the PLAY button above to listen in.

You can find today’s clip here.

Enjoy today’s quote. Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!