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Leaving Lockdown: Learning to Listen to Each Other, Our Children, and Ourselves

We might be easing slowly out of lockdown, but if we don’t listen then what kind of a world are we emerging back into?

We are surrounded by noise, whether it is the noise of people around us, the constant noise of technology, the noise of kitchen appliances, the noise of cars and trucks, emergency vehicles, planes and trains.

There is noise everywhere and perhaps that is one reason why we’ve become less good at listening… listening to each other, listening to our children, listening to ourselves…  

Just like it’s harder to hear the sounds of nature around us, the song of a bird or the cry of a fox, it’s harder for us to tune in to other people or our own inner ‘voice’.

On top of everything else, over the last 15 months, as we’ve lived through lockdown after lockdown, we may have been so unsettled, anxious and worried about everything that perhaps we’ve been less inclined to just listen. Less able to mute the concerns that have dominated our thinking every day and to just listen…

Listening to each other

The world, and indeed our own country, is filled with conflict. People taking ‘sides’ and being unwilling or unable to listen to different views, different perspectives.

If you believe what I believe you are ‘right’, if you believe something else you are ‘wrong’, and in many cases the vitriolic real-life ‘slanging match’ or online ‘pile on’ that follows is horrible to witness. Whether it’s politics, equality, the response to COVID-19, or a hundred other fault lines that have divided us, those divisions run deep.

We seem to have lost the ability to listen to someone who thinks differently to us, who is in a different ‘tribe’. 

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(c) Evangelical Focus, used with permission