Frustration. Anger. Contempt. Sorrow. Pain.
These are the things that I have felt in the last month, looking at news headlines, looking at the most opinionated of my “friends” posts, and seeing the suffering world around me refuse to listen to itself. How do you take seriously the point of view of another human that doesn’t take seriously your humanity?
How do you humanize the point of view of someone that disagrees with you?
How do we step outside of our preconceived notions, of our own minds, to realize that we are all wrong? Unless we stand with the suffering, with those who are badly hurt by the world, who are subjugated, who are oppressed, who are murdered; unless we can internalize this suffering, how can we say that we are with them?
It is so easy, yet so cynical, to have an opinion on something, and then to proceed to share that opinion from behind a computer screen, without being the person experiencing the pain. I should know, I’ve done that so often. How then do we begin to change our habits?
We can begin to listen more than we speak. We can also diversify who we are listening to. We can also pay special attention to those who are hurting, just in listening, not so much in speaking. We can pray more, and be with others more. We can try to understand where people are coming from, and why people think and act and live and love the way they do. Above all, though, when we do decide to talk, and to act, we can realize that our actions can no longer be simple. There are no more easy answers. Maybe we may choose to be radical, or to be more moderate, but however we choose to be must change our entire way of being.