Lifting seldom-heard voices in order to re-examine traditional social constructs and to cultivate love and empathy


Thank-you for finding me. Here’s hoping that we can build new understandings, new relationships, and facilitate healing within our communities and our world.  Together.  This blog is a lab with the intention of hearing from and gaining understanding for people whose voices are not commonly heard.  Without understanding it is difficult to reach the depth which brings enlightenment, compassion, empathy, and love.

Today it feels as if our world is very divided.  There appears to be conflict and polarization.  There are a lot of angry people who wish to ignore, dismiss, or even hurt their fellow man.  People are lead by fear to act in cowardly ways.  People often rebuke one another rather than express compassion or even hold a conversation.  People have forgotten that their behaviors start as choices and build into conditioned responses or behavioral habits.

A large part of why our world is in this state goes back to our identities.  There is an identity crisis.  When someone approaches us with information that runs contrary to our own beliefs and values, we can choose how to respond.  Stepping out of our own thought processes to face ourselves is a very courageous thing.  Often, instead of taking the courageous step, we choose to hold tightly to our own opinions.  When we refuse to listen, not only do we dismiss our brother (or sister), we keep our identity, and our selves overall, isolated from the rest of society.  It is difficult to hear and heal the hearts of others when our own selves are in the way and closed off to them.

Our own opinions, values, beliefs, are often tightly held because they are our identity; our opinions make up what each of us thinks that we, as an individual, are.  It’s how we think, eat, walk, dress, where we live, which car we buy.  Yes, even which car we buy!  A presentation to the contrary of our beliefs is a threat to our identity.  Have you ever heard people argue about whether they like Ford automobiles?  Even if you have an opinion about Ford some of your identity is tied to that opinion.  And whether you esteem Ford is insignificant compared to whether you esteem your fellow man.

A fear of losing ourselves is a large part of the reason we will not listen to a differing opinion.  We put our identities or ego up as a shield to block ourselves from hearing the hearts of others.  As I challenge myself to take down my own “Ego Shield” to more clearly hear the hearts of others, I ask that my readers challenge themselves to do the same.

What is the harm in listening to others?  Is there a chance that if we listen to someone else that we might learn something?  It doesn’t mean we have to change our opinions.  And maybe we will change our viewpoint.  But is that bad?  Can learning be bad?  Is tweaking what we believe, because we understand something more fully, a bad thing?  If we change what we have tightly believed for many years, then will we struggle with who we are as individuals?  What will people think of us if we suddenly believe or behave differently?  Does it really matter if people think negatively of us if we are working toward understanding, self-improvement, and world-improvement?

Maybe the people around us will find our change refreshing or have a change of heart themselves.  And maybe not.  But to grow in love and compassion toward others, and even toward ourselves, we need to let go of fear and understand more facets of the world than just our own very small viewpoint.

This website is meant to be both a challenge and a conversation.  I challenge myself and those reading this to step out of ourselves together to really see what life is like for people whose worlds might not reflect our own.  I challenge you to learn by really trying to see things through the eyes of others and offering them understanding, validation, and maybe even support.

To the best of my ability, I will report what I see happening.  I will share voices of people who wish for their voices to be heard but have generally not been afforded that opportunity.  And I will research, interview, and share conclusions around the people I will have talked to and the events I will have participated in.  I ask that my readers also appropriately participate in this conversation through the comments section.

Together we can learn, grow, and gain understanding which can transform our identities into a freer form.  We can lower our “Ego Shield” to understand what others are experiencing and to grow ourselves.  We will “mull” over challenging questions that perhaps we have never ourselves faced, and we will learn and grow from these questions.  The hope is to overall find understanding, build relationships, and find solutions to ease the hearts of those around us.  And maybe even heal our own heart.



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