Learn For Love

Moreover, love itself, which binds us together in the bond of unity, would have no means of pouring soul into soul, and, as it were, mingling them with each other, if human beings never learned anything from one another. —Augustine, On Christian Doctrine

Zena Hitz says in her book, Lost in Thought: The Hidden Pleasures of an Intellectual Life, about the quote above, “Augustine says that our ability to love one another depends on our capacity to learn from one another. That suggests that we learn in order to love.”

Learning requires setting aside time to get to know someone. This is not something you do by scanning their feeds on Facebook or Instagram. There is a person behind that facade.

Learning requires listening. To listen truly means not only using time, but also attention and focus. Attention must be on the other. Reaction to what is said may come later, but that must not be where the attention lives in the moment.

Learning about does not necessarily mean agreeing with.

A person whom God loves resides in that skin. Learning can always happen. If we let it.

[Two notes. First, a reminder that I am linking books to bookshop.org which supports your local independent book seller. Second, Hitz’ book is definitely not about intellectual snobbery. She’s been there, done that, and left it behind. It’s about learning as a path to growing as a person.]

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