Are You Listening?

August 19, 2020

Over the past several weeks, in the spirit of open dialogue and deeper connection, we’ve welcomed guest bloggers to share their experiences and reflections. Today, we looked a little closer to home for that new perspective, inviting someone who is usually behind the scenes here at Wide Awake Business to step into the spotlight. Thanks to Gail Dixon for this reminder of the importance of listening.

 

Are You Listening?

by Gail Dixon

 

We live in a noisy world.

So many voices saying so many things…all fighting for attention and air space. So many declarations and demands, so many choices and challenges. So many questions begging for the right answers.

Since one fateful day in May — the day that George Floyd was murdered — the volume has been turned up on the subjects of racism and injustice. And many white people with the best of intentions have been rushing to add their voices to the call to make things right.

I can relate. There is so much I’d like to say.

What about you?

For too long, individually and collectively, white people like me have avoided and ignored the truths being spoken by people of color. We have spoken over them. about them, and sometimes to them…but rarely WITH them.

So, I’m calling out today to people of power and privilege…to my own impulse to do the right thing…and saying that we still have some serious listening to do before it’s truly our turn to speak.

We must listen deeply, carefully, and continuously until we can truly hear. Until we can recognize and feel the

Pain beneath the protest

Anxiety behind the antipathy

Anguish beneath the anger

Fear beneath the frustration

Righteousness behind the resistance/

When we have heard and truly listened to these things long enough, when we have made safe space for them to be fully expressed and honored, then we can speak.

And first. our hearts should speak apology, acknowledgment and allyship without looking for awards and affirmation. Next, our hearts must give voice to recognition, responsibility, and a resolve to do better.

When we have listened individually and collectively and spoken from our own hearts and our common heart….then the dialogue about peace and justice and a better future can truly begin.

Until then, respectfully, I’m still listening. And I hope you are, too.