On listening.

It’s been two weeks since the Presidential election and there’s still a lot to process. No matter what side of the political spectrum you’re on, there’s a ton to be angry about. Life is confusing right now. And stressful. There is a lot of social media uproar, and digital freaking out. There are protests and community gatherings. There’s also a lot of people that don’t know how to leave their house and face the day. It’s overwhelming. 

I’ve spent the last two weeks listening to podcasts related to the election. I’ve listened to audio stories that represent people across the political, racial, socio-economical spectrum. Shows like the United States of Anxiety, This American Life, and Reveal have done a tremendous job of sharing a pool of voices. They’ve humanized people that I would never imagine myself wanting to know about. 

I was teaching a workshop yesterday and I made the statement, “Every time I listen to someone tell a story, and once I have finished listening to them, I grow to like them, understand them, and want to know them even more.” There has only been one story in hundreds, maybe thousands, where I did not feel this way. It wasn’t until after I made the statement, that I marveled at my own statistic.

Last week at Tell Me A Story’s final Shot Tower show of 2016, I said a few words about listening that also goes with the above statement. I have one way that we can all start to calm down, and assess our own situations, as well as our country’s. Open your ears. Yes, take action, makes changes. But also listen. Listen to stories. 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.