Posted on October 3, 2015
There is value in silence, in knowing that your voice isn’t the only voice in the room, crowd, or online world. At first, it is an odd sort of exciting feeling, realizing that you are not the center of the universe, and that that is okay. In fact, there comes a freedom to stepping back, and being silent, and listening to others voices.
Listening, one thing I’ve been seeing a lot lately has been the importance of listening, especially when it comes to listening to the voices of those who are oppressed, and by listening, I mean listening to all that is expressed, not just the nice bits that flatter or are comfortable to hear.
There are many voices which need to be listened to. Not all of the things heard have been pleasant to hear, but they have been extremely valuable in confronting harmful ideas and thoughts I hold. So while they may seem to lack niceness, they do not lack kindness. We are called to be kind, not nice after all. There is a difference between them I should think. Niceness tolerates harm, while kindness tells of it. If you are called out on something, it may not seem nice to you, but it is a kindness.
Listening is important, much more than speaking in many ways, it’s not that my ideas do not have value, they do, but they are not the most important ideas, and for goodness sake, it is good for me to allow others the honor of speaking their minds, especially those whose voices are talked over.
It is good to listen to the thoughts of others, and try to see things from their perspective, to take them seriously and not dismiss them due to tone or other insubstantial reasons that have no bearing on the truth of their words. In my country, though not often acknowledged by the dominate group, the dominate group holds the words of the other with a grain of salt. It is the dominate groups voice which is considered the more truthful or substantial. The dominate group usually means a white male in my country. While not morally wrong to be a member of that demographic, it is morally wrong to insert dominance whether that is personally or corporately, and one of the ways that is done is by the dismissal of other voices as not holding as much weight in the conversation.
Listen. Your opinions are not the only opinions of value, nor do you need to be the loudest voice in all conversations.
Listen, in silence. Sometimes the best thing to be done is to simply not say anything at all.