My answer to Do you think that knowing something another person doesn't makes you a better person than they are?
Answer by Ken Larson:
I see the deeper meaning.
I am contacted regularly by individuals that wish to learn from me. I learn much more from them.
I have learned that until I understand an individual’s value system I cannot assist them as a co-worker, counselor, manager or sales person.
The only way I can achieve that end is to learn from them.
Our existence and our mental universe are driven by factors that we as individuals inherit through the gene pool, as enhanced by our experiences in life. Our innate capabilities as humans are augmented in life by that which we learn.
What I learn about someone different than I may not be the same value system as I possess, but by learning from them I will be able to make distinctions between my values and theirs, consider accepting the differences without prejudice, communicate with them and move forward on common objectives.
All wars eventually result in negotiated settlements. Avoiding them by learning and negotiation in the first place is the most effective war weapon and by far the least costly in materials, debt and lives.
Effective negotiation must involve learning the other parties values, not simply the perceived threat they represent to us because we do not know them.
We would do well to learn more about those different from us before we fight and do it genuinely.