As It So Happens, The Silence Isn’t Deafening ///

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As It So Happens, The Silence Isn’t Deafening

Originally I was going to write a post with the title “The Silence is Deafening”.  It was going to go on and on about the lack of engagement in the world when it comes to social issues.  More specifically when it comes to my podcast, yeesh why aren’t we at one million listeners already – a self-pity type of thought.  Lol, on the real, however, it has always annoyed me that meaningless posts get far more attention and serious thought than actually serious matters.  So I was going to talk about it and how the silence as a response to all of the injustices in the world is (and always has been) deafening.  No longer.

Why I changed my mind

Sure the thing I just mentioned above happens all the time.  It will for all of eternity.  Two things changed in particular for me.

1) My choice of how I feel about it:

  • more specifically what I’ve decided to do about it.  I’ve decided to become the catalyst for the conversations and the types of engagement I’d like to see more of in the world.   Instead of just being miffed about it.  At the end of the day, I can’t control it so why let it affect me.

2) We started a podcast:

  • I’ll tell you what, the conversations I’ve had as a result have blown my mind.  Yes with guests, but I’m not talking about those.  I’m talking about people that have listened and hit me up later, or I ran into at an event and they brought up a topic from an episode.  It’s shown me that a lot of people do in fact want to participate.

What has this taught me?

Judgment is for the birds.  I already knew this, it’s just always good to have a reminder.  Cause well, I’m human and sometimes a big ‘ol order of judgment serves the ego very nicely and I frequently fall prey to it.  It’s just that I’ve found it to hurt more often than it helps.

To be clear I’m talking about the douchey “why’s she with HIM” type of judgment.  Not the “let me see here, he’s got a knife on his belt and myriad tear-drops tattooed on his face…I’m going to pass on striking up a conversation” kind of judgment call.  Sure he could be a great guy, those, however, are strong indicators of a person that may not want to start up a conversation with strangers thus making it a good judgment call.

Anyhow, I digress.

many people really do want to connect.  I’ve heard it with mine own ears.  What’s the problem then?  I think it’s multi-fold:  they don’t know how to, they’re afraid to, not sure what to say or how to say it, judgment, potential professional implications, not enough time, and to round out my list lack of knowledge.

The most prevalent I’ve run into are not sure what to say or how to say it, judgment, and potential professional implication.

This tells me that overall most places and scenarios aren’t safe enough to discuss the more pressing and important challenges of our time.

Houston, we have a problem.

I’m suggesting that we tend to make it so emotionally risky for people to share their thoughts on anything that’s important enough to actually matter.  Why?  Usually, so we can feel smart, right, better-than, happy, and it serves none of those intended purposes.

We doggedly fight solely for things that we comprehend and like while completely shunning anything that questions or disagrees.

Where will this leave us if we continue down this path?

We’re in the midst a digital age that promotes a virtuous (or sickening) loop that promotes what we believe to be true whether or not it is.  It’s not the fault nor is it a problem for technology to solve.  We have to use some good old fashion human brain power.  This article is a really good read on why it’s so difficult to escape echo chambers.

The Silence Isn’t Deafening

It really isn’t.  I’m heartened by all of the people around the world enacting change.  I’m inspired by the people I’m fortunate enough to call friends and family.  I know that things are happening and whether or not they talk about it in social channels means very little.  It was (past-tense) my hang up.  Hell social media channels aren’t always the right avenue , I know this very well.  Thought I’d overshare a bit of what goes on in my head behind the scenes.  Plus it’s all about being the change you want to see or as Mr. Jackson challenged – start with the man in the mirror, right?

Also, for those that aren’t sure how to engage, or what to say – you can always hit me up.  I’m often down to talk.

A few things to leave you with:

  • Hell, I’m figuring this out as I go. I could easily host a podcast called “things I should probably know about being black, as a black man”

  • Anyone that tells you (or acts like) they’ve got it figured out is lying to you

  • I’d also recommend carrying around a leather glove for smacking such individuals with.  Ok not really, it’s just always been a dream of mine to enact this policy personally.

  • It’s not that hard to share openly if you’re honest about where you’re coming from

  • Trolls exist, you just have to do what the poet-laureate Jay-z once said “Get, that, dirt off your shoulder

Expose.Evaluate.Evolve