Listening and Learning

I am heartbroken over the deaths of George Floyd, Breanna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless others whose tragic deaths are a sad reminder that racism is still very much a reality.

Despite hearing and reading countless stories about how the experiences of Black Americans are different from mine, I never really ‘got it’ and while I never fully will, it wasn’t until I read this article that it really hit home.

https://www.today.com/parents/dad-explains-viral-post-why-he-won-t-walk-alone-t182797

I cannot even begin to fathom what it’s like to have to walk with ones’ daughter and dog to not be viewed as a ‘threat.’

“Most people listen for the purpose of responding versus learning”

While I forget where I read this quote or who it was from, it holds a lot of truth and value. Whether it be someone who holds a different view than ours or someone whose life experiences are drastically different from ours – if we listen (or don’t listen at all) solely for the purpose of responding versus learning, we as a society will never grow and get better.

In developing UESCA certifications, I rely heavily on expert contributors and research that often is at odds with my own education and thought processes. However, after asking a lot of questions to truly understand the context of the ‘new’ information, nine times out of ten, I come to understand and appreciate the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of the different perspectives.

We need more of this.

Go spectate any big marathon and the first thing you’ll notice is a lot of cheering, smiling faces and high-fives from total strangers. I’ve personally found that events like marathons bring out the best in people and society as a whole. I believe this is largely because all of the runners are united around a common goal of finishing and understand and appreciate the countless hours of training and sacrifice that each of them went through to get there – regardless of race, religion, political leanings, etc…

We need more of this.

Lastly, as an Asian-American, I have experienced racism but NEVER to the degree where I feared for my life just going for a walk. I’m ashamed at my lack of understanding and context to this issue. I believe that I, and society as a whole can do better by listening and learning.

Thank you,
Rick Prince

Rick Prince

Rick Prince

Founder/Director of United Endurance Sports Coaching Academy (UESCA).

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