From Silence to the Deafening Disturbance of Difference

When everyone is shouting over everyone else, does anyone have a discernible message, one that breaks through to hearts and minds?

“I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood.”

One’s chosen, agreeable, or enforced silence in the system allows an oppressive system to perpetuate.

Witness the history of people speaking up.

One of the issues I see is how people react in the extreme to what might otherwise be called a micro-aggression.

Here is where so-called micro-aggressions are often misunderstood.

“The free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted. […] it is now all too common to hear calls for swift and severe retribution in response to perceived transgressions of speech and thought.” — Harper’s: A Letter on Justice and Open Debate

Far too often I see people react to something an author has written or a podcaster has said which they take entirely out of context.

“The restriction of debate, whether by a repressive government or an intolerant society, invariably hurts those who lack power and makes everyone less capable of democratic participation.” — Harper’s: A Letter on Justice and Open Debate

Two sides to every story make a dialogue

Slow down, listen, pause, and if you’re not sure, chose silent reflection

“With a bit of quiet awareness, you have a different perspective in situations. And sometimes with that perspective, you can see alternatives in a difficult situation, which shifts the entire dynamic and brings space and possibility anew.” — Ram Dass on Finding Space for Equanimity in Social Justice

Silence offers the value of witnessing, noticing, and allowing for time to consider one’s response.

Silence is the space between reaction and response.

Breaking the silence borne of fear, learned oppression, prejudice, or inequality is the path to freedom.

Dialogue is how we connect with each other and humanize our experiences.

“Difference must be not merely tolerated, but seen as a fund of necessary polarities between which our creativity can spark like a dialectic. Only then does the necessity for interdependency become unthreatening. Only within that interdependency of different strengths, acknowledged and equal, can the power to seek new ways of being in the world generate, as well as the courage and sustenance to act where there are no charters.” — Audre Lorde, The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House.

“Open-hearted appreciation of individual differences in humanity rather than just judgment is very important.” — Ram Dass on Finding Space for Equanimity in Social Justice

Written by

I help human-hearted creatives cultivate their purpose to experience more freedom, impact, and joy in their lives. DarrenStehle.com.

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