Posts tagged Speak

Can You Hear Me Now?


BrotherWord - Can You Hear Me Now

9 times out of 10 people simply want to be heard. They want to know that what they are saying matters, that even if you do not agree, you can at least respect their opinion, and that while they are speaking, they have your undivided attention.  People really just want to know that you are listening and they have been heard..

The problem with listening is that all of us are guilty of allowing everything and anything to distract us, prevent us from hearing, and tune out the speaker before a single word can be spoken.  We may not like the person, feel they are not qualified, do not care about the subject matter, or have personal prejudices and pre-judgments that have no merit or bearing whatsoever.  This is the hardest person to connect with or reach because what do you when they have already decided they could care less about what you have to say?  You change how the message is delivered.

During the 2015 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational, Darius Simpson and Scout Bostley used the platform to not speak about their own struggles and dreams, but that of their counterpart.  Performing their riveting piece entitled Lost Voices, they touched on the plight of black males, reproductive rights, and perceived privilege, but instead of using their own voice to share their own story, they spoke each other’s truth and experiences.  As the two wordsmiths exchange barbs expressing the thoughts, challenges, and complicated realities of the other person’s life, you finally begin to hear the essence of their commentary and feel the power in their conviction.  The stereotypes are removed because the words flow from a different source and it is at that very moment the syllables travel beyond the ears and begin to penetrate the soul.

Take a moment to listen and as you do, I dare you to close your eyes and concentrate on the words not allowing your eyes to deafening you from actually hearing.  As Simpson and Bostley conclude, once again speaking for themselves and through their own voices, they conclude by saying, “I fight so my voice can be heard.  I fight for the voices you silence all in the name of what is right.  I am black and bold and beautiful by nature.”

Can you hear me now?

“Being heard is so close to being loved, that for the average person, they are almost indistinguishable.” ~

David Augsburger

5 Tips to Cure the Holiday Blues

BrotherWord - Holiday Blues

The holiday season is one of the most joyous and cheerful times of year.  Along with all the reveling, parties, caroling, and shopping, there are also many who suffer from loneliness and sadness.  Faced with the overwhelming magnitude and pressure to be “merry” or happy, many sink deeper into depression and spiral further out of control.  It’s a widely spread misconception that depression and suicide rates spike during the holiday season (see Does Depression Increase During Holidays?), but the reality is depression exists throughout the year and many are afflicted daily by its ailments.  What is different is that during the holidays, it is harder to mask, the ability to cope is lessened, and the pressures become magnified.

Here are 5 tips to help cure the holiday blues:


Thankful Thursdays!

BrotherWord - Thankful Thursdays!

One of the greatest feelings in the world is to know you’re not alone.  Having someone to confide in and call upon when times are difficult is a comforting and securing feeling that can’t easily be replaced.  I am so THANKFUL to have people in my life who are more than family and friends, but confidants, listeners, and sounding boards.  They uplift and support me and add an element of belonging.  I’m THANKFUL for the ability to speak without being judged, to express without being looked down upon, to converse freely without condemnation, and to express my feelings without them being dismissed.

Communication is the key to life and when you’re able to share dialogue openly and honestly, it is a gratifying feeling.  Take time to speak with your loved ones; more importantly, make time to listen to them.  The best gift you can give to someone is to listen to them and  let them know what they think and how they feel is as important to you as it is to them.  Show them how THANKFUL you are for their thoughts and opinions and they’ll be just as THANKFUL to have a voice.

Are you THANKFUL for those around you and the freedom they afford you to share your voice?  How does communication play a part in your THANKFULNESS?  Share your thoughts with #BrotherWord and THANK YOU for listening.

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