Nick Cave’s “two qualities that will improve your life immeasurably”

Sage advice from a brilliant artist, published on The Red Hand Files blog:

…look to two qualities that will improve your life immeasurably.

The first is humility. Humility amounts to an understanding that the world is not divided into good and bad people, but rather it is made up of all manner of individuals, each broken in their own way, each caught up in the common human struggle and each having the capacity to do both terrible and beautiful things. If we truly comprehend and acknowledge that we are all imperfect creatures, we find that we become more tolerant and accepting of others’ shortcomings and the world appears less dissonant, less isolating, less threatening.

The other quality is curiosity. If we look with curiosity at people who do not share our values, they become interesting rather than threatening. As I’ve grown older I’ve learnt that the world and the people in it are surprisingly interesting, and that the more you look and listen, the more interesting they become. Cultivating a questioning mind, of which conversation is the chief instrument, enriches our relationship with the world. Having a conversation with someone I may disagree with is, I have come to find, a great, life embracing pleasure.

He expands the thought further in a later blog post.

…beyond disagreement, the fortifying agent in any relationship is forgiveness – the ability to expand one’s heart in order to accommodate the infractions, perceived or otherwise, of the other. …don’t be afraid to disagree, but be ready to forgive and be forgiven, and let love and understanding reach audaciously across the divide.

See also: Red Right Hand Video

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