Today, seemingly more than ever before, it is important that we, as American citizens across the country, take a step back followed by a step forward. Step back from our comfort zone and routine, step away from our smartphone screens and social media scrolling and step forward towards someone new, engaging and connecting with a genuine curiosity. This is how we grow as individuals and how we grow as an entire population. This is how we better understand the hurt we might actually be able to help heal. This is how we understand true American struggles instead of simply those we experience within invisible border walls of our own communities or those we learn about in the echo chambers of our like-minded social media connections. This is the only way we truly understand our best way forward.
This isn’t easy. So an entire movement has formed where we, hand-in-hand, walk each other into the center of everything. Republicans and Democrats. Jews and Muslims. Majority and minority. In the middle of the chaos, we enter into difficult yet rewarding conversations where we #ListenFirst to understand each other. And somewhere within that, we see behind the angry social media posts and opposing votes and comments taken out of context and realize we are human. We realize we all have stories worth open ears and struggles worth another helping hand.
Starting this week, from April 5th – 13th, this entire #ListenFirst movement is joining together during National Week of Conversation to rally the entire country to come together. Organizations and individuals across the country will be facilitating and engaging in conversations across divides with diverse perspectives challenging everyone to truly hear each other. We are also encouraging everyone and anyone to reach out to neighbors, family and friends and form your own conversations. One week. One week when it’s time to step back from routine work schedules and routine interactions. One week to step away from the excuses and the deprioritizing of your concerns about your future – our future. One week when we can step forward – towards each other, with each other and for each other. What is your excuse for standing back or standing still? Join us for National Week of Conversation and practice what it means to #ListenFirst.