(Editorial from the June 14, 2020, issue of The Sentinel)

Dr. Steven Covey says, “Most people do not listen to understand, they listen to reply.”

If we really want to get to the heart of our racial issues then we must listen to the experiences of other races and what it is like for them living in America. Listening must be done with the ears but also with the heart. When we listen to understand, we not only hear what is being said but we also tune in to the feelings and sit in the uncomfortableness of the pain and the sorrow.

Listen, just listen — don’t jump in, minimize, make excuses or get offended. Those things get in the way of listening. Take the time to see the world as they do. Your views of reality may differ greatly.

As a black woman, I learned early on that most white people don’t want to listen to my story. They don’t mind the good. It’s the bad and the ugly that turns them off because it’s hard to believe we live in the same society. But we do, and in order for me to believe we can create a path forward together you must not only listen to understand, you must believe that this is my lived experience.

We have a long way to go but in order for us to move forward there must be understanding about where we are coming from. Then we can talk about not only where we are going but how we get there together.