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.” ~