Posted by: MC | November 12, 2012

Listen to Each Other

Thank you to Vincent Schilling and to INDIAN COUNTRY TODAY –mc

Today is Veteran’s Day.  I know that among the reasons I am here typing these words onto this screen with lunch cooking on the stove is the presence and courage of the men and women who over time have been warriors in this country and on this planet.  I’m not a big fan of armed conflict — not a big fan of war — and still I know that for the largest part (i.e., not with out glaring exceptions) warriors are most essentially devoted to restoring peace.

Today is also a week since the day before the U.S. national elections.  Election Tuesday, 2012 came and went and here we are with each other — still.  Some of us are delighted with election outcomes, others are furious, even afraid.  Yet, we are still here and once again we are faced with the profound opportunity to LISTEN TO EACH OTHER.

The focus of this blog is just that — listening.  I continue moved to do what I can to encourage all of us to take whatever risks necessary to listen to people who see the world differently than we do.  In my experience this takes getting quiet and listening to the words and experiences of the person across from me instead of being so taken with the noise of the thoughts in my own head.  I can always get back to those, but this moment with this person who knows life in a way different from the way I know it; well, that’s far less possible to ‘come back to later.’  Furthermore, the kind of opportunity that arises from listening is one that moves me and all us toward peace.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again — don’t believe me, check it out for yourself.

Listening is not generally a high stakes matter — that is, to really listening and come to some understanding (remember, agreement is not required) will not harm the listener.  But listening can also be a strong effort toward restoring and retaining peace.

This week’s podcast (Chapter 4:  Voices from Texas) has voices varying in age, race, religion and politics.  Each speaks of change and respect in her or his way.  Each is a voice for peace.  And because they are of the land where I suppose I could say I came of age, they ring with particular poignancy for me.

So this week, the words are few — honor veterans, honor each other, honor this wild and precious life we share on the whirling globe — please join me in the radical act of listening.

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