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The importance of listening and why it helps us be better allies
Many of us are talking about race with our friends, family members, colleagues and acquaintances for the first time.
It's not because people of colour are speaking about it for the first time. Far from it.
It's because, finally, people are actually listening.
Here is something to be learned from grief:
If you share your pain with someone who doesn't truly listen or create a safe space for you to do so, it becomes a burden on the grieving person and it's easier to stay quiet than to speak up.
A grieving person will only really share their feelings with those who don't turn it back on them, gaslight them, diminish their pain or make it about themselves.
In other words, in spaces they feel safe in.
This is a lesson to us all
Many of us are now truly listening to Black people and POC. Not because it wasn't being communicated, but because it was hardly ever heard or welcome in spaces that could help make the change.
As supporters and allies, one of the most important things we can do is listen and create those safe spaces for grieving (and oppressed) people to speak and be heard.
Listening is one of the most valuable gifts we can give to a grieving person.
Make it a lifelong commitment to give it with generosity and abundance.