Do I come to the conversation expecting that there is something new for me to learn? Or have I already got all the answers worked out in my head?
If it’s something I’ve heard before or studied before (especially a lot of times), do I come listening for the new angles? Or am I saying, “Yeah yeah yeah, I know that already…next point, please”?
Do I believe that I can only learn from those who are more experienced than I? Or do I understand that even the most novice person I meet probably has something to teach me?
Have I written off everyone with a different perspective than mine? Or do I listen as intently to those with whom I disagree as to those who share my views?
Do I talk down to those who I deem to be mistaken? Do I seek to silence their voices? Or do I trust that truth will not be destryed by my allowing others to explore its parameters?
Can I tolerate appearing to be *wrong* peacably, or does this stir in me a need to talk louder and faster until others around me verbally consent to my *rightness*?
Am I willing to apologize for my wrong, even if I feel it was provoked by your wrong, and even if you’re not apologizing? Or is my willingness to keep up my side of the deal conditional upon you meeting my expectations about your side?
Am I able to understand that you can disagree with me 100% about something, and that’s not a reason to disrepect you, to doubt your motivation or intelligence, or to need to distance myself from you? Or can only yes-men be my friends or be people of worth?
Is your disagreement with me an assault on my character or intelligence? Or have I come to realize that it’s not about me?
Am I willing to consider that something I’ve “always known” might be false? Or does that notion bring out fear, flight, or aggression in me?
Am I able to see that almost everything has infinite layers of levels? Or do I believe that all of life and existence can be boiled down to bullet points and plotted out on clearly delineated graphs?
Do I believe that experience and age can bring wisdom? Or am I persuaded that everyone who is older than me or has lived more “just doesn’t understand where I am coming from?”
Am I able to thank you, when you call me into account? Or do I feel compelled to defend/justify myself?
Do I believe that everything in my life has a purpose to instruct and edify me? Or do I think learning only happens in a classroom setting or a church sanctuary?
Am I willing to only listen sometimes, and not talk at all? Or do I have a compulsion to make myself heard?
When I check sources on something I hear, am I seeking true clarification? Or just looking for ways to confirm that what I already think about it is so?
Do I require immediate answers? Or am I willing to sit with the discomfort of not knowing, for as long as it takes?
Am I able to laugh at myself? Or can I only laugh at the expense of others?
Am I willing to consider that I see my history through a filter…and that filter might be damaged? Or do I insist that my memory is always 100% on target?
….in other words: am I teachable? The questions are worth asking, continually. My growth, mental health, emotional well-being, and ability to flex with life depend upon it.