Listening Is Hard.

A few weeks back, I made a commitment to listen.

It was clear to me that there were voices and ideas I didn’t completely understand. I wanted to know, as much as it’s possible, what it’s like to see the world from a perspective different than my own. The only way to accomplish that is authentic listening.

The kind of listening that seeks understanding. Not to respond, not to offer counterpoints. Not waiting impatiently to tell my side.

The kind of listening that says I hear you, I respect you, I value you.

Our culture too often equates listening with agreement or endorsement. Listening without a snappy comeback is viewed as a sign of weakness.

Anyone can shout. Anyone can spout well-rehearsed talking points. Debating is easy.

Listening is hard.

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CASTE, by Isabel Wilkerson isn’t an easy book. It uses wonderful writing and personal story to nurture difficult ideas and weave disconcerting threads.

When you listen, you hear truths you’d rather not hear. You encounter knowledge you’d rather ignore. You learn what you don’t necessarily want to learn.

Listening is hard.

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