Can you watch/listen to social, print, or news media without feeling compelled to yell back?
Can you listen to “other” opinions or differing ideas from family, colleagues or neighbors? Can you really? Especially those whose beliefs you strongly disagree with-maybe even feel disgusted by or repulsed by? Can you listen without interjecting? Without needing to “correct”, “inform”, “denounce”, “invalidate” or “prove wrong”?
Yes, It can feel difficult, to hold back, certainly, when the words you hear oppose your beliefs.
But Listening, is just that, listening.
Hearing another human being speak, without interjecting, in NO way implies you
accept their beliefs as your own. You are NOT accepting responsibility for their beliefs. Listening does not validate their beliefs as right, rendering your beliefs wrong. To listen does not suggest ignorance, denial, submission, consent, cooperation, admission or compliance.
Why does this matter? To listen, to really listen and really hear?
Differing beliefs and opinions, acknowledges humans experience different circumstances and situations. That, as human beings, we experience different events in our lives; Different educations, religions, cultures, family dynamics and financial situations. Attempting to change another person’s mind invalidates their experiences.
By invalidating another’s beliefs, for being different, you invalidate yours, making you feel the need to ‘speak up’ for yourself.
Before you interject, I challenge you to ask another ‘Why they believe as they do’, with the honest intention to listen. In these intense and challenging times, we can
do something. We have more power than we know. There are solutions to be heard.
Choose to listen. Offer a person space to share, without condemnation, without judgment, without attack.
It is possible to listen AND disagree!!!