Are we really listening?
When I write these blogs, I do them with a purpose.
A purpose to get you thinking.
However, today I am going to add listening to the mix.
There is a lot happening in the world right now.
The sentence above is simple and straightforward.
But as I say it out loud, a heavy mix of feelings wash over me.
And we both know, that when I say ‘a lot happening’, I don’t mean it in a good way.
There are protests going on every day, in all parts of the world.
While one country is fighting against their fascist government, the other is fighting for LGBTQ+ rights,
The others are dealing with Islamophobia, white supremacy
And some are working on spreading awareness on misogyny, mental health and I can go on about the issues people face daily.
When I think about why our society, much rather our world has become like this,
The only reason I can come up with is two words - ‘close-minded’.
Close-minded people are the ones who have chosen to go deaf to the world.
The reason I say deaf, and not blind is because,
Sometimes, we may not always understand what we see, looks are deceiving,
But when we hear something, an explanation, a theory, an idea, an opinion, we tend to understand it.
And the people who choose not to listen, who choose to go deaf, are the one’s holding society back.
Why is listening so important?
Because if the person speaking is not heard, they will stop speaking altogether.
Usually, people are afraid to talk about something controversial,
because unpopular opinions tend to cause trouble.
But now, people are afraid to talk. period.
Because it is an effort to be heard.
Because who knows whether bringing something new to the plate will trigger a stream of hate.
People are not ready to welcome criticism anymore, they don’t want to hear what they don’t want to hear.
A simple and harsh truth.
But at this point in time, or at any point in time for that matter, we do not have the liberty to say things like “nothing can change my mind”
We have to be open-minded to change.
We have to learn to accept that our long-held beliefs could be wrong,
The majority of people today have no room for people who support political parties that they don’t.
They have no room for genders other than female/male.
They degrade people who have undergone cosmetic or plastic surgery.
And these are just a few examples among so many others.
People have chosen their side, made up their minds.
Decided what’s unacceptable, what’s not.
Absolutely unwilling to change their stand.
Yes today, we may not be contributing to the much larger issues happening,
But if we continue to be someone, who refuses to sincerely listen to others, before making an opinion,
We might just end up on the oppressive side of the coin, ahead or even now.
I am not asking you to change your opinions and views on certain matters.
I am asking you to listen.
Listen to the other side of the story, understand where they are coming from, put yourself in those shoes,
And then make a decision for yourself.
It is having the courage to step forward and share a viewpoint across, while yet willing to accept that it can change.
In a world like today, where we face controversy every day, if we don’t have an open-mind,
If we continue to put our ego before something that needs to be agreed upon or needs to be heard,
How will we move ahead?
Every minority in this world is only hoping for the rest world to hear them out,
To sincerely hear them out and give them an open-mind.
Because, if they are heard, earnestly, and understood,
I feel like all those issues listed above,
Can move one step towards eradication.
Everyone has a right to their opinion, whether it is political, emotional, professional, to do with taste in sexuality or anything at all.
Every opinion, every belief, needs to be heard.
Before judged and discarded by society, by anyone.
All it takes is one change in attitude, and lending an honest ear.
I think having a genuine open-minded atmosphere,
Can really be the much-needed change, we are looking for.