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.
“Elana Stanger’s talent allows us to communicate Hilton’s support of diversity initiatives through her fun, effortlessly hip artwork. I would not involve myself in any diversity-related activity without her input.”
— Steve Fisher, Director, Internal Communications, Hilton Hotels Corporation, Beverly Hills, CA
“You just might sweep the world into a new myth of being. The images you made are iconic, in a language we understand. They are also universal. You have uttered a profound list of symbols, which are perhaps able to help in ways we cannot imagine.”
–John Sevcik, Artist, Philadelphia, PA
I never knew art could be so powerful!
–Conference Participant, National MultiCultural Institute, Washington, D.C
Your presentation really grabbed our students — you got them talking about very important personal issues very quickly and established a great sense of trust… Your artwork is very effective in bringing forth the issues.”
–Annabel Lee Grote, Upper Moreland High School, Glenside, PA