The past few weeks have been hard. It feels like the world is heavy with hate and fear. Honestly, I still believe that most of us are good people just trying to do the best we can.
However, I think we do an awful job at listening to each other. I don’t have permission to tell you how to feel about what you see happening in the world and you can’t tell me how I’m supposed to feel.
I can appreciate the outrage but I can’t hear you if you’re screaming at me and telling me I’m a bad person. This approach has never and will never result in change. This is why the heroes of our time spoke about the great importance of love and compassion. They knew that the only way to change hearts and minds was through love.
There will always be rage filled and self righteous individuals. This is not where our focus should flow. Their hearts are hardened and their pain and fear are too great. We must focus on the majority of people that just want a peaceful world.
On a human to human level most of us are not monsters. The media highlights the darkness in the world but there is so much more light. I’m no Pollyanna because my life experiences have not afforded me that naivety. But, I do know that if we want change we need to connect human to human and listen without judgement or defensiveness to each other’s experiences.
We are responsible for one another and this includes people who don’t look like me or value what I value. We’re failing because we’ve forgotten this. This is not just a problem for people of color, law enforcement, the poor, the refugees, lgbt populations. This is all of our problem.
Maybe just try to listen to someone today. Try to listen without judgement or defensiveness. Try to imagine what their experience might feel like. Try not to impose your values or expectations. Try to say I hear you, I see you, and I care.
Is it really that much to ask?