so often, i listen to speak
rather than just simply listening to understand.
my mind works quickly
and often i (think i) know what is going to be said
and i am right enough of the time that it reinforces my actions.
and this is the way i have lived my life
until my beautiful developmentally delayed daughter taught me one of the most important lessons i have ever learned.

you see, Elisa does not speak like you and i
in fact, most of the time she remains quiet
and i have learned over time
to listen to her telepathically
as she is constantly putting her thoughts into my head
and because we are so connected,
most of the time i get what she is saying
and i listen to her,
but sometimes i don’t
and when this happens i ask her to use her words
to tell me what she wants.
and she will try to do this,
but remember, she does not speak like us.
so sometimes i don’t understand her even with her words,
when this happens, she speaks louder
thinking that if she increases the volume, i will hear her
but it isn’t the volume, it is the clarity of her words
that i can’t get.
and when she raise her voice and i still don’t understand,
she throws a tantrum
and when i still don’t get it,
she will run at me and try to rip my shirt or bite me.
fortunately, this does not happen too much anymore.
and it got me thinking,
elisa has shown me the way of every person i know,
she is more raw than most,
but isn’t it true
people try to tell us something
and when we don’t hear them, they speak louder
and when we still don’t give them the feeling of being heard,
they make a scene
and if they still don’t feel heard, they destroy something.

i wonder if the answer to the troubles we face
could be given to us by a developmentally delayed girl.
look at what we do,
we talk over people, we fight in teams we call our side
we love trump, we hate him
we are democrats vs republicans,
whites and black
men and woman
religion against religion.
is this the life we dreamed of living?
when is now the time to listen?
we face serious problems and we do not know the answers
because we can only see what we see.
one way to learn to see what we do not see
is to sit with other who see the world differently and just listen
but i/we defend our positions
and this is growing old. it is not taking us anywhere.
this old paradigm must end
it is time for a new paradigm to emerge
this paradigm is called connected intelligence.
the power of the people to find solutions together
by listening to each other
and seeing new ways we never saw before.

some people might say this is impossible
and one definition of impossible could be:
we don’t see a way to make it possible.
so when we sit together with others of like and unlike mind
and we share what we believe and listen to each other,
maybe, just maybe we will see something we never saw before
and the impossible may suddenly become possible.
the new conversation starts with listening not with talking.
care to join me?
all it takes is listening more and talking less.
it’s that easy.
please let me hear your thoughts.