I think it is fair to say that the earth shifted recently. No matter where you stand with what is going on around us, one thing is clear, we need each other now more than ever.

Anatomy of a conversation.
It feels like the world all of a sudden became much more serious. Truth is, it was always this way. It was just easier to put a blind eye to it. Not anymore.

It is obvious that there has been a lot going on for a long time that we have not been discussing. And it is time to start engaging with one another. Time to start having a conversation. Time to start listening. Really listening.

That being said it does not make sense to indulge in silence. We need to be one of the many voices that are stepping up and saying “Let’s talk”.

It started with a whisper.
There is kindness coming from places we were not paying attention to before. For this I am grateful and this is what I want to be a part of.

Riding in the car the other day the song “It Started with a Whisper” came on the radio and I thought, that is the key. It doesn’t have to be a big bold stand that we take, if we all just make an effort to be a little kinder, a little gentler and more compassionate we can set the tone for how we want the world to look going forward.

Kindness is an active endeavor and it is contagious.
Maybe I am just paying more attention or maybe people are making an effort to be kinder but I can tell you that lately I have been smiled at more, had doors held open, and people seem to be slowing down a bit to listen more closely. This to me is encouraging. This is what I am making a deliberate effort to do more of.

We are all busy, burned out and tired. Now however, people are paying attention to what others are thinking. How do we want to be perceived? What message do we send when we walk in a room. I for one am going to do my best to be kinder. I believe it is contagious. I plan to spread that as far as I can.

“We need to listen, for like a year…” — Unknown
I was listening to one of the talking heads the other day and he said something that resonated with me. I didn’t get his exact words but the gist was this: “Obviously there has been a lot of disconnect that has been just below the surface and we need to have a conversation about that, but we can’t have that conversation now. We need to listen, for like a year, then and only then can we have a conversation.”

I know it is easier to try to figure it all out on our own. I have done so much thinking lately I feel like I am on a hamster wheel. Really, what we need to do, is get out of our own heads and just ask people what they think. Things tend to make more sense when they are brought out into the open. We need to ask people what they think and (maybe the hardest part) be open to what they have to say. Only then will things come together.

We have a responsibility to be present and positive.
I am the queen of catastrophic thinking. If there is a worst case scenario I can get you from 0 mph to 60 mph in two seconds. There isn’t a whole lot of room for that kind of thing right now. It is important to be cognizant of what is going on, and what that might mean, but there is no need to take it to the nth degree and start to dwell.

We are all in this together. We are living history and it is a fascinating time. We are blessed to live in a country that allows all the freedoms we enjoy and we need to stick together and hold each other up. For every negative thing that gets thrown into the ring let’s counter that with ten acts of good. If we collectively act on this the math bears out that the needle will shift.

The sound of silence is deafening.
So that is my two cents. For the past two weeks I have avoided writing this and the sound of my silence has been deafening to my ears. Now at least I have put it out there. I am interested to hear your thoughts. Let’s start listening. Let me know what you hear.

Originally published at medium.com