Destructive beliefs and opinions can lead to destructive behavior. Sometimes, the impulse to change someone's mind is healthy and courageous. But destructive beliefs are often protecting wounded hearts. If we take the time to hear their hearts, we may get the chance to change their minds. It's a start. It's a jumping off place. And it's hard.
On this Father’s Day, we celebrate our fathers and those who father us through life. To the men who used their strength to serve, their influence to inspire, and their love to empower, we celebrate you. To the fathers who are always there, always available, always by our side, we celebrate you. To the fathers who always answer the phone, always answer the call, always show up, we celebrate you. To the fathers who offer a shoulder, a kick in the butt, and a bad dad-joke, we celebrate you. But, most of all, to the fathers who listen, who hold space, and use their strength to understand, we love and thank you.
We have work to do. We have love to share. We have people to hear. When we listen, we allow others to influence us, inspire us, and teach us. When we allow other to speak, we give them the space to be themselves, to express freely, and to feel valued. Where will you be listening? Who will you hear? It's time to listen. This is @neha_ki_nautanki in Melbourne, Australia showing us how it’s done.
True diversity can be celebrated best when we recognize that we are already one. As a world wide movement, we are often asked what Free Listening looks like in other countries. It’s the same in every country. Across the world, people share the need to be loved, accepted, and heard. Perhaps, these needs are the truest thread connecting our common humanity. We are already one.
The world is moving quickly. The world is noisy. The world is asking to be heard. Take time to slow down, open up, and listen. It's free, it's restorative, and it's needed.
Our volunteers in Berlin have been Free Listening for over a year and a half. Their dedication is inspiring and a reminder that being heard is so close to being loved, most people cannot tell the difference!
I'm guilty. I like to fix things. If you tell me something's wrong, I go into solution mode. I know I'm not the only one who does this. But, sometimes, all we need to do is listen. To be with the person and let them speak. They may not need a fix, they may need an ear. Stop fixing, start listening.
The heart of listening is relationship. When we listen, we allow others to influence us, to change us, or to effect us. Listening offers other people the possibility of love and influence in their life. That is the nature of relationship. Listening conquers loneliness.
I know. You're on your phone right now. I am too. But, today, before you connect digitally, before you find out what happening with people across the world, find out what's happening with people in your world. This is @whatsgoldin and @thathallett waiting to connect in #santabarbara. So, today, talk to your friends, listen to your parents, say hello to the stranger next to you. Tell someone you love them, tell someone you miss them, tell someone you're thinking about them. When we connect with others, we open up the possibility of relationship and growth. You may learn something, you may heal something, or you may fall in love. Connect with someone today.
You don’t have to be “fine”. You don’t have to put on a face. You don’t have to be strong. You don’t have to be who you think we want you to be. Life is not a static experience. Sometimes it hurts. Sometimes it’s confusing. Sometimes it feels like it never going to change. Keep going. Keep going. Keep going. The world needs what you have to give. There is still love to give. There is still love to receive. If you feel like you’re at the end, raise your hand, ask for help, and know that it’s ok to not be ok.
There is less distance between hearts than between minds. When we listen, we become available to the heart of the other person. Don't be seduced into an argument with their mind. Instead, reveal in the beauty of their heart. In disagreement, if we can hear their story, their experience, and their struggle we become connected in a way that allows us to hear their humanity. This is how we will navigate through these very difficult times. Hear the person, not just the opinion.
They say this generation is glued to their phones. They say this generation is addicted to screens. They say this generation is self-absorbed. We disagree. This is @clgreen7240 Free Listening at @westernmichu. We’ve worked with hundreds of college students across the country. This generation is available, open, and ready to connect to the world. They are the future and they are listening.
It seems we are united in our desire for change. But before we can change the world, we must hear the world. Unless we listen carefully, we may spend our time trying to change the wrong things. Before you speak, listen. Before you respond, listen. Before you do, listen. Change begins with listening.
We live in a world where we feel evaluated. We struggle to get things right, to be perfect, and to impress. Listening asks that we let go of being perfect, that we accept our blemishes, and love in spite of ourselves. It's when we accept our own imperfections that we are able to listen to the imperfections of others. Let listening bring you into greater acceptance of all people.
In any country, in any language, we are listening.