It can be intimidating, nerve-wracking, and sometimes even outright frightening to talk about the things we care about with people who disagree with us. Our beliefs are a part of us–they represent the values we hold, our core identities, and the visions we have for the future. Opening ourselves to the reality of a world where our beliefs aren’t shared universally can feel like a threat to these very values, identities, and futures that we hold dear. As we learn to listen more and listen better, we are taking courageous steps out of our comfort zone and into a more collaborative world.
It’s important to keep in mind why we seek out these conversations in the first place, especially when shutting out ideas we disagree can often feel easier and safer. The reason why we listen is because listening can change the world. Through listening, we resist the narrative that we always have been and always will be divided. Instead, we choose to see each other as human beings, and commit to creating new pathways towards a world where listening leads to liberation. It’s a big task, but it’s one we are all taking on together.