The world feels really loud right now – a cacophony of voices from all sides overwhelming the airwaves. We seem to have this undeniable and overwhelming need to be heard…and right now everyone is talking and it’s difficult to really listen.
We are bombarded with energy that is swinging on a pendulum. We rise high to one side, over correct, swing back to the other, and end up even farther away from where we started. It is necessary now more than ever is to find a way to come together, where we can talk face to face, neighbor to neighbor, colleague to colleague, family member to family member, and do so far away from our screens and comfort zones.
We need to unclench our jaws, relax our shoulders, uncross our arms, release our fists, look each other in the eyes, take a collective breathe as one, and start by asking questions instead of providing statements.
I will ask that you take me on your journey, teach me what you know, open my eyes to your reality, and help me learn. We all have a point of view, let me see from yours – it’s how we can expand our own. I will do this for you if you will afford me the same opportunity. Whether we agree or agree to disagree – let there be no fall out, no backlash, no repercussion - we don’t have to have perfect consensus to remain friends or work together. It is necessary to welcome a variety of people into our circles, those who have differing views and backgrounds, it makes us better human beings– it helps us be more compassionate, open minded, empathetic, and strengthens our communities.
Whatever lines we’ve drawn, step across yours, I’ll step across mine,… and as we do - let’s promise each other that we aren’t entering an open battlefield, but a safe space for debate and discussion. When we step away from where we are, we can come together to talk about ideas, values, fears, hopes, dreams, and a vision for the future.
Let us lay down our prejudices, our preconceived notions, our stereotypes, our sides, and come to the table prepared to really listen and learn, not just ready to respond. The more ideas that are shared, the more likely there will be useful ideas to work from. It will be uncomfortable, it might be messy, it will take work and patience, and there may be bumps and setbacks along the way as we grow. Let’s take steps towards each other instead continuing to push away. It will require tolerance, understanding, willingness, and a little bit of leniency on all our parts. We will get there and it will be worth it. It’s been proven that we cannot do this divided nor individually, but we can do it together little by little one conversation at a time as we build momentum - in fact it will be the only way.