I was chatting with X from another area of campus the other day, someone whose opinion I respect greatly, and X mentioned another person from a different area of campus, Y. And I sort of frowned.
And later, X was telling me that a third person, someone who's long been considered an unofficial campus leader and whom I've had a fair bit of contact with, really hates Y.
And all of a sudden, I realized why I had frowned. I've been influenced by the campus leader without realizing why, or really even caring.
It's not that I've gone around bad-mouthing Y or anything, but I haven't taken Y's contribution to the campus community as seriously as I might have. And now I have to rethink that, and probably go learn something about Y's contribution.
I wish I were above being unduly influenced by the campus leader person, but I'm not.
We all have our agendas, the things we consider important, and sometimes those aren't the most logical, and certainly aren't something everyone should adopt without thinking hard. But there I was, and I'd adopted this attitude without really thinking about it. (Not that I want to adopt X's attitude without thinking, either. The thing is to remind myself to think more.)
Sometimes, I think, hey, I'm sort of "done" growing, and then I realize, no, not really. I've learned some stuff, and I try not to be a jerk, but I've got a lot still to grow into and learn. ("Try not to be a jerk" sets the bar pretty low, doesn't it. But still, if that were everyone's agenda, we'd treat each other a bit better.)