The right to speak

Every human has the right to speak.

If we are discussing issues, those with the greater right to speak are those who have lived in the mire of the very issue we are addressing.

The ones who wear the scars. Those still immersed in the issue. Those who have found a way through.

This includes listening to the very young when they are at the effect of the issue. To ignore their voice is a form of hubris. (And any other form of incapacitation, be that emotional, physical, intellectual, age.)

I watch in disgust as people calling themselves leaders claim the right to speak without any lived experience of the issue they are addressing. Not only claiming the right to speak, but taking all the space that might otherwise be given to those who know the issue as a lived experience.

Healing does not occur in a vacuum. We must ardently seek to understand the experience of those at effect. This requires an extraordinary degree of listening, being with, witnessing. A willingness to silence our voice, bite our tongue, and truly, dearly, listen to understand.

To claim a solution without comprehensive understanding is our collective shadow. 

Slow down. Seek with every fibre of your being to understand. Listen to the whole. Invite multiple voices. Listen harder. Ask questions to clarify.

The solution will only come from the field of love and respect given to those who have lived in the belly of the beast we seek to change.

Photo taken September 6th 2021

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