How can Active Listening change the course of Climate Change?

Nowadays we are used to rush through conversations, people and moments. Our lives are rushing ticking clocks. We’re taught to have the need of having to learn everything, do everything, control everything, and say everything; and in the meanwhile we forget to listen to everything and everyone around us. We are taught to enter this race for an unseen and unknown goal through a path of highly intensive competiveness where only some are allowed to keep running with the condition of doing more and better in fewer time. “Efficiency and Progress” is the motto of this collective life-style. And the further we run, the more distant we get from people who stopped to recover their breath; the more distant we get from those who never could or wanted to participate in this vicious race. You see. Not everyone wants to be better, not everyone is willing to trespass others for his or her own interests. I am not pointing fingers at anyone. I don’t want to accuse and hurt sensitivities, as we are all victims and perpetrators of this trend; and I blame myself for it as well. But the course of History is taking the wrong path. We have done too much harm to Nature, which includes all animals, oceans, and forests and also every single one of us. Climate Change needs to be prioritized because it is the symptom of not only an environmental crisis but also of a social, economical, historical, cultural, physical, mental, spiritual and ethical crisis. Changes are happening already. No doubt on that. We have all the knowledge we need, all the statistics to prove it; all the numbers and counter numbers. But what good is it doing to have all of these if we don’t listen to each other? If we don’t work in cooperation to make sure everyone arrives to the finishing line of this crazy race.

Only when we learn to stop and listen to each other carefully without having to constantly interrupt others with our own thoughts, we will be able to understand one another. Only then we will be able to strengthen our bonds to the ones around us.

This applies to everything, not only to our personal lives and careers, but also to politics and international relationships. Only when we stop to carefully listen to each delegate and each perspective inside the negotiations we will be able to break the detachment we have for each other’s cultural backgrounds and lands. Because once we actively and consciously listen one another, we will realize that we are all shouting for the same thing.

– Beatriz Lima

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