Last To Speak
We need to feel heard.
Our survival depends on it.
When we enter the world, we are helpless. We can't move from one place to another without help from someone else We can't eat without help from someone else. The only thing we can do is cry with the hope that someone will hear us. Our survival depends on someone hearing us.
As we grow older, we learn to walk and fend for ourselves. We learn to eat and take care of our own bodies. And our cries are replaced with words and songs and thoughts and feelings. But our survival still depends on someone hearing us.
A child knows that they are safe when someone responds to their calls. They may not get what they want and the person responding may not always fully understand what they need, but that child takes comfort knowing that someone heard them and was there for them.
We are the same.
We sometimes have trouble expressing ourselves and others sometimes struggle to understand what we mean. But that simple act of listening. That simple gift that someone gives us, to try to understand. To want to listen. To give us that sense that there is someone there who actually cares to hear what we think, what we feel and what we imagine really, really matters.
We go into the world trying to tell everyone what we need. But the ones we trust, the ones we turn to and the ones we choose to follow are usually the last to speak. And sometimes, just sometimes, the last to speak must be us.
We imagine a world in which everyone matters. The first step to building that world is for all of us to learn to be the last to speak.