I have a great appreciation for Brown’s quote regarding the idea that you can live and learn something from everyone you meet. You may not necessarily NEED some information from someone you meet, but it may be something you should know. Of course, that is also under the assumption that one was to take the quote literally. I believe the foundation of the quote’s meaning is to refrain from rejecting information from any given person or group just because you may not want to hear it.
It can be easy to “listen” to advice that someone gives you, but not really take it into consideration. There have been several times in high school when I was given advice on how I should do something, and I “listened” to their advice. However, I never really considered it. Only a few words in, I already decided whether I would give their advice a second thought later that day or not. I don’t want to imply I was rude to these people or disliked them at all. More often than not, my advisors were my best friends. The issue lied within some pride I had, and thinking to myself that I didn’t really need their advice.
Looking at the quote from a broader point, it also applies to many different situations in everyday life. If not friends or family giving you life lessons, then maybe a stranger expressing a different viewpoint that you’re not used to. Perhaps you don’t agree with them, but simply listening to what they say and thinking about it a little bit deeper can help you understand why they think that way. If anything, it can help you reinforce your own viewpoints.
Listening to others is a huge part of what helps us shape our own identities. I learned that keeping an open mind and always at least lending an ear to others can teach you a lot of things. After all, it’s not any of us are born knowing everything the world has to offer.