The Importance of Listening and Learning.

Updated: Jul 6, 2020





Black Lives Matter. All Lives Matter. Not the same.


I recently had a conversation with someone that I enjoy talking to when we get a chance. We always have great conversations about everything from what we found on Netflix to life and everything in between.


We've had conversations about racial prejudices and bias and everything happening. She has told me she signed petitions Justice for George Floyd and overall like many others, she is confused as to how you can dislike someone for the color of their skin.


Our most recent conversation, which leads me to this post, stemmed from a movie that is currently out now on #amazonprime and is based on a true story of actress Jean Seberg. A few days prior she mentioned she had finished watching this movie and recommended it to me.


She was saying how it's wild that this story took place in the '60s but it could also be ripped out of today's headlines. Jean Seberg was a Civil Rights Activist who supported various organizations and causes such as the Black Panthers Party, NAACP, and building Native American schools, just to name a few.


I explained to her that no one is saying all lives don't matter and if they are, they're misinterpreting the message. The Black community is saying, right now, and of course always, Black Lives Matter. Right now, it's about speaking up. At this moment in time, bringing the issues and concerns to light.


I've definitely heard this often, but it hasn't been a personal conversation and more so things I've seen online. So, I took the opportunity and the time to explain to her that no one is saying all lives don't matter and if they are, they're misinterpreting the message.


The Black community is saying, right now, and always, Black Lives Matter. It's about if you were to take a snapshot at this present time, these are the names, images, and videos, that we are laying down on the table to say, this is why Black Lives Matter, right now.. and always. I ended my explanation by saying, "We matter. I matter".


Black Lives Matter. All Lives Matter. Not the same.


The difference is, you can't have one without the other. You don't learn the alphabet without "A" before getting to "Z". A-Z, make up the whole alphabet. "All" and "Except" are not the same. We don't have the right to say "All" if there is a group of people feeling like they don't matter.


It can feel easier to avoid topics when we think it's just going to be an uncomfortable conversation. On the flip side, it also has the potential to be the best conversation we have because at the end of the day words have the ability to give clarity and change a narrative.


This story is important for me to share because it shows the power of respect, listening and openness, and how they go such a long way.