I asked Asher this morning what the other half of talking was….he said, “listening to what people say.” Asher was in his first play over the weekend, “The Little Mermaid.” A lot was communicated in songs sung off key and missed lines to the most forgiving of parents. The drama teacher danced wildly in the back of the theater as all the kids on stage tried to imitate her. Afterwards on the playground, Asher’s pre-school teacher Polly, who has the most generous and empathetic heart I have ever known, shared a terrifying story. She told us of an African American friend who is a speech therapist for a high school in Denver. When this woman came out to her car last week, it was covered in lipstick with the message, “Go Back To Africa.”
When we drop our children at school to learn about freedom of speech it is just as important they learn the power of listening. Asher is 5 years old. He knows more about listening than all the people screaming to build walls while covering their ears. He still sees the world as a place filled with love. I hope he never turns on the news to see the endless loops of sucker punches and scrolls on the bottom of the screen dividing us all.