Is Anybody Really Listening Anymore?

DK ONLINE: I have a confession. There is a deep, burning desire that simply must be shared with the world (or at least whoever reads this).

I badly want this country to feel a sense of unity, or at least some kind of common ground. I’m not crazy though, nor am I naive.  Not everyone will agree with everything all the time. Of course that won’t happen. It never has.  It never will.  Recent years, however, have only seen our bitter divides widen and worsen.

A big part of it is that people don’t really listen to each other anymore. So many people know exactly how they will respond before someone else has even finished expressing their point of view. More and more lock themselves inside the echo chamber, with no interest in tuning into opposing view points or alternative ideas.

Then I saw this sign from Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins.

IMG_3979That’s when I couldn’t help but wonder: are we really listening to each other at all anymore?

To be clear, he was talking about specific matters related to criminal justice reform, high levels of incarceration, law enforcement and minority relations, and NFL players donating part or all of their salaries to charity, etc.

The unique and powerful way Jenkins’ chose to get his message out came one day after President Donald Trump hosted a Celebration of America patriotic event on the South Lawn of the White House.  The Super Bowl champion Eagles were to be honored in a traditional ceremony in the same place but the White House canceled after disagreements and changes in the number of players who would attend.

As you likely know by now, Trump has ripped NFL athletes in particular for kneeling during the Star Spangled Banner, or staying in locker rooms when the National Anthem is played before games. The president issued this tweet in explaining his reasoning.

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Not one Eagle ever took a knee during pre-game ceremonies in the regular season last year.

Jenkins, other players and the Eagles head coach used Wednesday’s highly anticipated media availability in South Philadelphia to address the controversy.  That’s when Jenkins brought out the signs and otherwise let his silence do the talking.

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He brings up key issues we have to somehow address in this country, in addition to the other hot button issues in a variety of areas that can be added to the list of action needed.

The truth is nothing can ever get done if people aren’t willing listen to each other, examine multiple perspectives, and see where they are coming from.  What a world it would be if we had more empathy, more understanding, and a willingness to at least look at the wear on someone else’s shoes if not walk a mile in them. It wouldn’t solve everything, but it would be one heck of a start.

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