People are collections of experience. Situations and encounters continuously shape our behaviour and thus, character. The way we react, think, feel and navigate the world is conditioned by our previous experiences. As adults, our self-development practices are often less about acquiring new skills, and more about freeing ourselves from behaviours that no longer serve us. By letting go of our conditioned existence (samsara, in Sanskrit) we can truly perceive what's in front of us and act from a place of freedom instead of a place of habit. In her book Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, Lori Gottlieb says that "There is no change without loss". In other words, to grow is to let go of a part of ourselves.
In community, it's only when we quiet our ego and our initial reactions, bias, conditioning and judgement that we can approach what is being said with curiosity (which comes from cura in Latin, meaning care). Author Elizabeth Alexander says that creativity is about "Choosing the path of curiosity over the path of fear". Similarly, fully listening and understanding someone is a practice that insists on quieting the ego in order to truly take someone else's experience in, and perhaps being transformed by it. Change doesn't happen without loss. Which part of you are you willing to let go of?