Learn Context When You Connect

Watching what is going on in Baltimore is heartbreaking, even from afar. I won’t recap what can be found elsewhere, but it is an awful situation. There were many who were peacefully protesting, but a small minority insisted on making things violent. Several people are hurt and a large amount of property has been destroyed. It is so easy to sit here and say that if it were me, I would not be rioting. I contend that I don’t know anybody who would even be out there on the streets destroying things in response to what happened. But, there is clearly a group who feels differently.

Let this be a great reminder to you about context. Everyone lives differently, everyone is brought up differently. The effect of this is that some people may react in a way that never even crossed your mind as a possibility. I do not know any of these people who are rioting, but it is safe to assume that they probably weren’t going to stop just because the mayor got on television and asked them to stop. Perhaps something else could have worked. Perhaps someone from the city could have made them feel heard. Someone who thinks completely differently than us did not feel like their opinion was regarded, and they were very angry. The effect of this resulted in national guard being called.

Learn context when you connect. If somebody in your life is upset, try to make them feel heard. Try to understand their feelings. Simply asking them "please don’t react badly" is not only not connecting, but it almost never works. People who do not feel heard or understood will not react well when they are upset.

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