Listen To All The People

09 November 2020 | 4 min read


Congratulations to the United States of America!! I feel such a relief for your country and the world!

In a time where there are so many challenges to tackle, the world community has truly no real other chance to overcome them, then together. It is a great sign of hope for humanity that the American voters decided to put an end to separation and open a space for a constructive exchange again. Thank you so much for that!

While nobody knows what this government will be able to reach in the end, because nobody knows anything about the future anyway, we are at least back to some political sanity, with some values and a communication style that enable a dialogue again.

Character does matter! That in itself is the most hopeful news of all.

The Biden-Harris tandem is also a strong message. It shows us that society can change. It takes time, but it happens. Things that many people considered impossible not so long ago are possible today. We can give everybody a chance. We can take decisions towards inclusion. Yes, we can! We can if we want. Wow! What a week! What a year!

Today, I am hopeful and happy for America and the world.

I know this introduction is not neutral. I just wanted to share my opinion openly first, before I write about the real reason why I am writing this blog today.

Right now, I am feeling for the other part of the population. The one that is not happy today, that feels disappointed and maybe even angry about the outcome of the election.

In the middle of the joy for the election news, almost half of the country, not 10%, not 20%, but 47,6% would have preferred to keep Donald Trump as their president for four more years. That’s a number!

Yes, seventy-one million American people have put their hope for the future in a president that promises to make the country great again in a radical way, which includes the possibility of enormous collateral damage. How is that possible?

It’s completely normal in a democracy to have disagreements and debates in the way voters and their trusted politicians project themselves in the future. Still, there is something different about this election.

Like all of us, those voters hope for a happy life. The profound need for happiness is the same for everyone. But the way we think we should get there seems to be radically different.

I am puzzled about the profound social divide that this election is bringing to light. The enormous disparity in the way hope takes form.

What happened? I don’t have an answer for that. There are already so many hypotheses about the effect of social media on the voters and about fears. I don’t know really. That would be the content of evening-long heated discussions with friends, if we were allowed to do that these days. But opinions are not so relevant, and not what I am writing about here.

What I mean is that we need to go further. We need to suspend judgement and understand each other better. Beyond the cliches, the opinions and what we think we know, and what should or should not be.

There is a piece of information behind the disagreement, the anger, the fear, the protests, and the radicalisation. We need to listen to people. We need to listen to each other’s struggle. We can’t ignore each others’s voice and actions. We can’t act as if we hadn’t heard anything. The voices of social protest are getting louder.

So, what does the Trump vote mean? What is it a call for? What has been overlooked all these years? What needs more attention now? What are fear, anger, racism, and exclusion a symptom of?

Our state of mind certainly does matter. But what if we were also dealing with a systemic issue?

Part of humanity is hoping to find a way out of frustration through separation, polarisation, and radicalisation. I see this tendency everywhere, not only in the US. We need to listen more to people’s appeal if we don’t want more separation. What is humanity longing for?

Unity needs a lot of listening.

Listening more deeply to understand. Going beyond the cliches and what we think we know. In order to find the root cause for the problems, and address the issues honestly.

Anger and negativity make it difficult to listen. We feel like pulling back, walking away, ignoring, or dismissing it. We don’t want to be around anger or frustration; we want to have positive and constructive conversations. But it is not always possible. Sometimes the frustration and emotions are so deep-rooted, there is no other way. And sometimes, there are good reasons for those emotions.

Through my experience facilitating numerous circles of dialogues in many organisations I can only say that it’s worth taking the time to listen to everybody, to hold the space for deep listening, even when it is not always comfortable, and some things are difficult to hear.

There is precious information behind the anger, the frustration, the cynicism, the fear, the sadness, and all these feelings we don’t like in us and others. There are personal stories and sometimes tragedies behind. Longings in the hearts of people.

If we don’t listen deeply, we often miss the point and then wonder why problems don’t get solved.

Let’s not ignore the voices of all the people. Of those who have something uncomfortable to say -whether in countries, organisations, institutions, families. The people we disagree with, don’t understand, or don’t easily connect with have a lot to teach us.

Their thoughts are so precious and useful for our future. They sometimes put light on something that has been overlooked. On the blind spots of the system. On the points that urgently need attention and care.

Be thankful for the information. Ask more often, before it escalates to a point where it gets too challenging to handle because the atmosphere is heated. Thank the people for the courage to speak up, build a bridge. I know it is not easy, but it is the only way if we want to take everybody on board for the journey, stay together and have a diagnostic that is helpful in order to deal with the pain points of reality.

I know it is possible to address people’s struggle. It is not an easy path. But when there are a will and respect, there is a bridge. And when there is a bridge, there are possibilities.

With Love, Drissia / /


Written by Drissia Schroeder-Hohenwarth

Transformative Coach for Leaders, Teams and Organisations with a fascination for the endless potential of the mind.

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