Listening is healing. When we take the time to listen to another’s story, we learn more about that person while the person is able to heal as we give them our attention. We must put aside our own hurts temporarily to have our ears, eyes and hearts fully available to listen to someone else in a deep, attentive and caring way. If we offer this kindness and patience, respecting the other’s dignity, we may be honored with the powerful experience of being able to witness the other’s pain. We will hear stories of strength and struggle. In the end, we will have bonded with the one whose story we have listened to, that person will have felt heard by us, and we will have deepened our understanding of the issues we now face together. We will be able to acknowledge the pain of the other person’s experience. Then we can also come to care more deeply. In this way, we become more authentic with one another. Being in touch with our realest selves by telling our stories and expressing who we are in truth, is what we need to build bridges with others. Let us build an authentic humanity, full of diversity, full of uniqueness. Let us listen with an open heart, and allow ourselves to be affected by what we hear. Let us listen to one another to build trust, respect, and love.
What better way is there for us to understand our interconnectedness as human beings than to realize that there is only one Sun that shines for us and we are all equally dependent on it. Though most of us take little time to consider it, the Sun and other elements of nature grow our food for us all over the planet, and without the Sun, no human life could be sustained. This is a testament to our alikeness despite our differences, and the fact that there is something bigger than we are, upon which our lives rest. The Sun, in all of its immense brilliance and power, was not created by a human. Nor were the trees, the oceans, the sky, the soil. There is a force that loves us, everyday, and upon which we depend for our lives to be maintained. No life could exist without it. It sustains all. No matter our race, religion, sexual orientation, language, gender, nationality, etc. we are One as seen by this Light.
“DiverCity” is an imaginary city though not unlike any of our real cities today, which are diverse and home to many different peoples of many different colors, cultures, genders, languages, ages, abilities, sizes, classes, religions, sexual orientations, ethnicities, and beliefs. DiverCity is a place of spirituality and intercultural unity. If our planet could be considered to be just one City–as it will one day–it will be DiverCity.
Whiteness is an artificially constructed, racial identity designed to keep certain people in power and others out. Dismantling Whiteness is critical to dismantling racism. To effectively do this, first I must understand and accept that I am White, and no matter my socioeconomic background, gender, sexual orientation, or religion, etc., I must recognize that I have received privileges denied to people of color. Then I must give up that identity, realizing that it is designed with an unjust intention which also limits my ability to be my fully human self–unique, creative, connected, and living in peaceful community with my fellow humans of all colors and cultures. Freeing ourselves of this White identity, frees our souls to allow us to fly and be who we want to be, connected to all humanity.