Listening is a kind of speaking. When we listen well we communicate interest and curiosity, and we lift up those who are speaking to have a dignified space in a meaningful conversation. We all can listen more and listen better, especially to folks who’ve been shut out of meaningful decision making conversations.

Conversations pitched as not “for you,” due to something about you, are beneath you. Go find a better one.

Earnest, compassionate, wise people know what to say and where and when to say it; they don’t need to be told that their gender or their age or their race disqualifies them. The best ones know that already and self-select out in favor of others, yet they remain ready to contribute if invited.

Be one of those. Find communities that support diverse voices, and bring yours. Listen. Wait to be invited. Then make your contribution.

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