Meaningful change always starts when we seek to understand those who are different from us, in beliefs, experiences, and perspectives. I believe it is worth the effort, a way to break up the tribalism that haunts every corner of American society. I don’t want to see what we will become if we don’t try.
As parents we are frequently told about the importance of reading aloud to our children. It’s not just important to developing early literacy skills, it also can have a significant impact on behavior and empathy. But it doesn’t have to stop once they are able to break out the chapter books and read to themselves. While studies and experts agree that there are additional benefits to reading to older children, including increasing fluency, vocabulary, and overall reading success, reading aloud to our big kids goes beyond academics.
Listening to audiobooks hasn’t replaced our family’s love for the written word; it has enhanced it.
But I want to challenge my friends to listen to each other. If someone shares an experience with you that contradicts all that you think you know about the world, it may be a good time to ask questions and listen to answers without feedback. It may be time to step out of the echo chamber and into the unknown.
Somewhere along the way, the men and women who went into politics with good intentions and the desire to change the world forgot who they were serving. They forgot to empathize with those they serve and see them as human beings and instead started seeing them as a vote, a number. They stopped seeing each other as human beings and started seeing their political opponents as adversaries in an epic battle of “who is right and who is wrong.”