Remember that Verizon commercial?
This guy jog your memory? He would go to various places and say that famous line “Can you hear me now?” It was demonstrating that where ever he traveled you would be able to communicate with someone else.
Are you ready to communicate? I believe that part of effective communication is listening and I need you to listen. Over the last few months (really years but I digress) I have been encountering folks who have stopped listening to other people ESPECIALLY those who do not look like them. They have already passed judgment and have moved on believing that their view is the correct one.
On Facebook a friend of mine posted this image.
While I am not endorsing everything that comes from this site as I am not fully familiar with them I love this picture. Have you done this? Have you seen, read or heard something that just resonated with you and so you repost it. Maybe you share it with other people, who like you would agree? YET you are not sure if what you are sharing is even true. You aren’t even wiling to engage in a conversation with those who “oppose” your way of thinking because you must be right. It is not worth your time to validate such statements, both the ones you disagree/agree with, BUT it is worth just enough of your time it propagate your view.
Now before you go and say but who has time for all that. I want to encourage you that you are already in one way, shape or form communicate these issue whatever they may be. You just need to break the mode of selective dialogue. This is when you choose to talk with people you know or with people you assume will agree with you.
It is easy to speak with folks in your private circle about the President and all you don’t like when you know they will give space for your ranting. However it is much more challenging to talk with the person you know who would not agree with you but create space for both of you to learn and grow. (this is just an example to illustrate what I meant by selective dialogue)
Essentially what we have done is allowed ourselves to stop listening to every other voice expect our own and those who sound like us. So when it comes to cultural issues you can’t even begin to see outside of your circle, whichever one it may be, because we are unwilling to engage in meaningful relationships and conversations with those who are different.
Another example –
Have you every been talking with someone, maybe it is turning into an argument, or at least you are passionate about the discussion. As soon as you were done they jumped right in as if they didn’t even need time to process what you said. Now while that may not always spell danger, have you ever sensed that the person you are speaking to felt as if they had a gist of where you were going and checked out only to prep their next statement. How did that feel? Or maybe you have done that…
My prayer is that we would give space to others to communicate their beliefs, and passions because I would want the same opportunity when my time arises to talk. I want to know that what I said was received from someone who values me as a person. This means they were actually listening to my words and getting a sense of what I mean.
I just want to know if you really can hear me now because I desperately want to talk with you. I promise I will listen as well…