A World Without Racism Listens

Listening About Other People's Struggles

You cannot understand what others are going through without first listening. 

Friendships and relationships are built from common interests and perspectives and a sense of connection. Listening is the key to effective communication. It is fundamentally the foundation of all relationship building. The act of listening plays a huge role in bridging and sparking these different relationships which otherwise would be nothing. How can we build connections without first listening and getting to know the other person?

Sometimes, we build friendships from going through similar struggles in life such as with school, family, and mental health. It is not that people like to struggle in groups, rather they understand what one another is going through and are willing to listen and provide support. That is why people attend support groups and pay for therapy — just to be listened to. When people are struggling, it doesn’t matter what it might be, they want to be heard and understood. It is difficult to provide the appropriate help and support without listening to what someone truly needs.

Many of these struggles are not apparent since they do not have a physical imprint on people. A lot of times, you will not know what the other person is going through unless you stop and listen. Communities of color are disproportionately affected in so many aspects of our daily lives and sometimes, we do not acknowledge those voices enough, and many of us are leaving these deeply embedded issues for others to solve. You might not know it, but a simple conversation with your friends experiencing racism can drastically help them, as well as change your perspective too by educating yourself on sensitive issues. 

Today, we live in a world where we are so caught up in being right with our opinion and refusing to entertain the idea that we might be wrong. Sometimes, we fail to listen or acknowledge other opinions and ultimately alienate people who do not look at the world in the same way as we do. We can all agree that systemic racism exists, but we disagree on the degree of its existence. The first step towards an agreement is to listen and acknowledge. The power of active listening transcends boundaries across communities and cultures and has the ability to create meaningful change — only if we try. 

Although it is essential to listen, it is equally important to go into difficult conversations with an open mind and be willing to change your opinion. What we ultimately want is to change the world view by improving what we can by taking the first step and listening.

What other ways do you spread the listening philosophy? Please click here to share your ideas, we’d all love to learn more ways to listen! Take care and stay connected.