Listen.

Is the world becoming a more intolerant place? Of course, I can’t answer that question objectively, but it certainly feels that way these days. What seem to me to be in short supply are empathy and humility. So many people I come across seem to have all the right answers, so much that they are even unwilling to entertain alternate viewpoints.

When I was younger, I seemed more certain about things. With age has come uncertainty, for which I am truly grateful. Uncertainty has added more hues to my mental palette. 

I wish I was better at listening, though. Even if my intentions are good, there are a wide array of experiences I can never have, and I need to accept that and just listen more. For example, I will never know what it is like to face misogyny. 

So much misogyny, casual racism, class discrimination, language prejudice, homophobia, and bigotry gets dismissed offhand by those who never know what it is like to face these injustices on a daily basis. Telling people that their concerns are unwarranted does nothing to make anyone feel bigger or more welcome. It serves no purpose whatsoever. 

Why can’t we all accept that we don’t get to decide how other people feel? Maybe we all need to listen more when others talk about why they hurt instead. 

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