Listening is delicate. Yet it is paradoxical because listening is also quite powerful. The value of being heard (empowered) is sometimes most noticeable when the opposite has taken place – when one hasn’t been heard at all. We are seeing the impact of what happens when too many people feel unheard and disempowered for far too long. This is the case for people of all political stripes.
Do you remember our volunteer meetings from years ago? One of the things that came up over and over was how counter-cultural listening was. Inside the Listening Post walls, compassionate listening was respected, valued, and practice. And then there was “Outside” the Listening Post walls.
At the time “Outside” the LP walls was life as usual, people rushing about their lives not listening to one another much at all. Inside our walls listening touched many lives. Outside our walls listening was questioned: you mean you just listen? The question implied a disbelief that listening could do anything whatsoever for another human being.
Our insight that listening was counter-cultural was spot on. We knew that not being heard was sad even then, but now… the sadness in our country has boiled over into a profound frustration of not being heard en masse. People in our country are divided and in this division so very many people feel thwarted.
This is a delicate situation to hold – people, so very many people, feel thwarted. It’s not like some agency can come in and fix it. As listeners we know that ‘fix it’ mentality has a palpable message: I’ll fix it for you because you aren’t capable. ‘Fixing’ fosters further disempowerment.
Let delicate meet delicate – let listening meet those who feel thwarted. The root of the word Politic (no ‘s’) is the Greek word for citizen… or simply… a person. We don’t usually talk politics at the LP, but we do practice holding, with compassion, delicate things. And yes, I mean each person.
on behalf of Marcia and myself, our gratitude for your needed service,