Quick to Listen, Slow to Speak

July 2020 Editor's Note

July 2020 | by stephanie toews

We are often quick to judge, quick to doubt and quicker to jump to our own conclusions. Take a moment to give others the benefit of the doubt; you may be pleasantly surprised.”

-Alex And Ani

While planning the July issue several months ago, we couldn’t have foreseen the tragic events that would transpire in the coming weeks. As such, we hope these pages will be a refuge of sorts as we celebrate our love of the great outdoors, and the natural beauty we’re blessed to have surrounding us at every turn. For 13 years, our mission has been to tell the positive stories of our community, offering messages of hope, encouragement, and growth. Though our community might be removed by distance from these recent events, we strive to be close in heart. Indeed, our hearts are grieved, but we are committed to being instruments of change.

As we have been reminded of the still-devastating effects of racism, there have been plenty of voices vying to be heard. With so much shouting going on right now, I’ve found myself reflecting inward, thinking about how we, as individuals, can have a positive impact in the face of racism, injustice, and brutality. The reality is, this centuries-old problem is deserving of more than a fleeting thought. It deserves time, attention, self-reflection, and information gathering. It deserves more than a passing news cycle. 

I heard a sage perspective recently – “Give every person the benefit of the doubt.” The stranger you pass on the street, the neighbor who rubs you the wrong way, the friend (or stranger) on social media, the people you don’t agree with…everyone. Assume the best about others, not the worst. This is something that doesn’t come naturally and requires an internal check-in of our natural biases (we all have them, even if we are loath to admit it). Adopting such a mindset will require a retraining of our thought processes, a heart check, and a whole lot more listening than speaking. And it starts within the walls of our homes through conversations as a family. It’s vital that we have the hard conversations – at every front.

It's a start, a start towards being bridge builders in a world so desperately in need of love.

If 2020 has taught us anything, it's that we need one another. Whether we are apart or together, young or old, healthy or sick, in agreement or disagreement, we were created for community. The strongest communities are built on foundations of love and respect for one another. 

Originally printed in the July 2020 issue of Simply Local Magazine

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