I haven’t been writing lately. Like, at all! Between work and family and doctor’s appointments, I don’t have much left over free time. And a non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity. I have so many thoughts and ideas swirling around inside my brain and, without writing them down, it’s hard to make sense of any of it.
One of the biggest things I’ve been concerned about recently is the state of our nation and the world I’m raising my children in. Let me preface this by saying – by no means, am I a political person! I’ve had several conversations recently with several different people about “what needs to change” and “what we can do” to make things better. And I seem to always come back to the same thought…it’s about listening.
The main problem with this world is that people don’t listen anymore. At my job, I’m on the phone all day with people from all over the country, from all different walks of life…and one thing in consistent for almost all calls – people don’t listen to hear, they simply listen to respond. They don’t care what you have to say, they only want you to hear what they have to say. But the issue isn’t just at my job, it’s in every aspect of life.
People are so insistent on getting their own point of view heard, that they don’t listen to what anyone else has to say.
Let’s use the gun issue, for example…MY OPINION is that making more gun laws will not prevent gun crimes. (Again, this is my opinion and my point in this post is not to convince anyone else that my opinion is correct so I will not debate this issue.) However, I know that I have several friends who would disagree with me on this one – which does not make me care for or respect them any less.
We are all humans. All of our lives hold value. All of our opinions matter. Each individual person has their own reasons for whatever their beliefs are. But I see so many people arguing and fighting, trying to prove to another person that their opinion is right and the other person’s opinion wrong. That’s the thing about opinions – there is no right or wrong. Is it so hard to accept that someone can have a different opinion than you, but you can still have a civil conversation about your opinions and beliefs? Maybe…just maybe…if we spent as much energy as we do fighting about things, listening instead, we could understand why a person feels the way they do about certain things.
The great thing about human beings is that we all have our own minds that allow us to think and feel and develop opinions. No two people are the same. We all have different life experiences and circumstances. And those are the things that will color our thoughts and opinions and beliefs on “hot topic” issues.
While there are many things that I do not agree with, even with my closest friends, I’ve taken the time to actually LISTEN to them and hear and understand their perspective. I don’t believe that, most people, are maliciously trying to hurt anyone else. The majority of people genuinely want to make the world a better place and provide a safe environment for our children.
Yesterday, I saw a post about the walk-out protest for gun laws. The post was written by a mom who would not allow her son to participate in the protest. Her objection to him protesting wasn’t because she didn’t agree with the protest. But her son could not tell her exactly what and why he wanted to protest, so she would not allow him to blindly follow the group in a protest that he knew nothing about. And to that mom, I say, kudos!
Yes, it is important to teach our kids to stand up for what they believe in. But let’s also teach our children how to become educated on these issue so that they can decide, for themselves, what it is that they believe in.
Let’s stop tearing each down and belittling other people because their opinions don’t match our own. Let’s listen to hear what another person is saying, rather than just listening enough to reply. Let’s teach our kids how to listen and respect one another. Instead of forcing our opinions on someone else and trying to prove their opinion wrong, let’s acknowledge that we are all different and we are all entitled to our own thoughts and opinions.