I’ve been doing a lot of listening recently. It sounds so simple and yet, it's imperative, and something we ALL need to do more of.
From as far back as I can remember, I have loved the big stage. I love performing, I love talking in front of large crowds and I enjoy pushing myself to showcase something different for others enjoyment. But too often I can say that I speak, but don’t listen nearly as much. In the midst of political havoc, the #MeToo movement and a plethora of issues surrounding sexuality, listening has taken a back seat. Instead, folks write think pieces, speak their mind in rash ways and it seems to be a fight for first place in the 5th grade lunch line to get a word in during conversations. I thought listening was part of communication?
I have had a number of experiences through my 26 years of life. Being one of the few black people from my town from elementary school to college and in professional world, I’ve had to learn to assimilate in many ways. Men have dominated most places of power in these spaces and it was more of the status quo. I never had to think about women and their hardships until it was the headline of every article and website. Women have been and continue to be the backbone of families, relationships and society, but they don’t get their just due at all. Instead, just like 9 months of pregnancy, a lot of men often swoop in for the positive times and swoop out when things get rough. Meanwhile, in the midst women’s names and character is often chastised and ran over. I’m mature enough to say it’s unacceptable.
What's been missing is listening to women express themselves. And listening is about more than letting someone speak. Active listening is understanding one's situation, demonstrating genuine apathy and shutting up. When we hear and know better, then we can BE better.
Through my time of enlightenment I have also come to understand as men we see and hear other men do or say things that are totally not cool and let them go way too often. Instead, we NEED to hold one another accountable more often. When we hear a fellow brother say something that would not be acceptable in the presence of your sister or mother, we need to check them. If a man is doing anything physically wrong to a women, we absolutely need to address it head on. I feel like a lot of where we are today is because we don’t listen to women's issues and concerns and in turn, do enough to hold others accountable. I say it’s time we understand this and do something about it.
This is where we are at. Women are saying enough is enough and as men, we need to listen. Then, we need to hold our brothers accountable and check them when they do or say wrong. We can’t go back and change the past, but we can acknowledge our faults and move forward knowing certain things don’t have to be the way that they are. It’s time we hold each other accountable so the world is a better place for all of us – women too.
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lives by one word: achievement. in anything and everything, achieve.