And How Listening Can Save It
Every ugly thing in this world could be healed through authentic communication — with true compassion and humility.
With all of our scientific, technological and psychological advances — it is really mind blowing how we let communication die.
We were so focused on our new ways to communicate that we forgot to nurture the art of communication itself. Through the death of authentic communication, we lost community and connection.
We lost each other.
If enough of us could look at each other with true compassion and really communicate — really listen, things would change. This all leads back to humility. We heal each other and ourselves though compassion, communication and humility. And it is this humility that will heal the world.
Everything begins with communication.
Every facet of a strong and durable human relationship depends on one universal practice for its ultimate survival — Healthy communication.
In spite of our technological advances—related to communication — our collective ability to communicate authentically with others has crumbled. Of course, there are many people in our society who do practice strong and authentic communication along with personal inquiry, but the great many of us do not. The art of listening is our greatest asset in communicating authentically with other human beings.
Listening is the lost superpower of the masses and the key to communication, humility and compassion. When we listen — really listen — to others, we do not condemn them. Listening is not about coming up with our own ideas, but about understanding the ideas of others. Through our efforts to understand something from the perspective of another—instead of looking for our own perspective — we truly listen.
The wounds that have destroyed our communication, and therefore our community, can only be healed with true compassion — the true compassion that can only be obtained through true listening.
When we communicate authentically with others and truly listen, we are allowed to experience real compassion.
This deep compassion is born of love and understanding — understanding we could never experience without listening, first.
True compassion is not enabling but empowering. It does not hide from accountability but encourages growth. True compassion loves without pity, understands without guilt, and forgives unconditionally.
When you are truly compassionate you can hear your fellow human, screaming out that they are lost, without the crippling fear that they will never find their way. You can allow yourself to deeply understand others — even the ‘lowliest’ among us — without vindicating the unspeakable. Another word for true compassion is empathy.
Empathy is very different from sympathy. Through empathy, we learn how to see the best in those who are at their worst — the importance of looking at the world through the lenses of others.
Empathy teaches us that no human being said to themselves,
I want to be a horrible human being.
No father woke up the next day—after he found out about the baby — and said,
I think I would love to be a terrible father and ruin the life of my child.
Not one addict simply said to themselves,
I would love to become addicted to drugs, ruin my life entirely, put my loved ones through excruciating pain and probably die.
Whoever the ‘Jude’ is—in any story — that person does not want to be ‘Jude’. Think about it. But if that story exists, someone had to be the Jude, or it wouldn’t.
People may do horrible things, but we can be aware of that and govern ourselves accordingly, without hating the people. We can have empathy for them without condoning their actions — we can have true compassion.
What does authentic communication and true compassion create?
The destruction of authentic communication and disintegration of true compassion, among us, has destroyed our community.
So, what is the solution?
There is only one thing that can heal these generational wounds and break these long faced barriers — a level of humility that is only made possible through authentic communication and true compassion.
It always comes back to humility, doesn’t it? Whether we are insecure, self-righteous, or competitive — thinking too little or too much of ourselves or others — the solution is the same. With humility we can be confident without demonstrating false pride, we can win at life without competing with others or feeling insecure and most importantly — we can, not think less of ourselves, but think of ourselves less.
Through genuine humility, we stop looking for what we can take from the world and start looking for ways we can give to it. We can accept our humanness and the humanness of others.
When we communicate authentically, with true compassion, we are humble. It is communication with compassion and humility that will change the world.
The very first step towards monumental change in our world is for enough of us to do one, simple thing—exceptionally well.
Written by Holly Kellums
Originally published on Medium.com