Listening & Feeling Heard, Jasmine Gold

As I watch the Kavanaugh drama play out, I have been pondering how different it could be if both sides felt they were being heard. Even when you strongly disagree with someone, you can still listen to what the other person without making them feel wrong. Instead, Tuesday’s headline for the Press Democrat, “Kavanaugh, GOP dig in for a fight,” summed up what is actually happening.

When I watched the Fox News interview, Kavanaugh seemed to say basically the same thing over and over again. No matter what question he was asked, his answer seemed to boil down to, “I didn’t do it. I want to clear my name and move on to the nomination as soon as possible.” He didn’t seem able to address questions about her viewpoint or why she might be saying what she was saying. At a couple points in the interview, he had the opening to say something like “I’m very sorry that Dr. Ford experienced a serious sexual assault that impacted her entire life. I’m sad that she thinks I did it. If I had, I would ask forgiveness and either drop out or show how I have changed since then. Since she believes I was responsible, I understand why she felt the need to speak up. However, I didn’t do it. I hope that she can believe me and move on.” This is what I want from a Supreme Court nominee – the ability to hear both sides. If he can’t hear Dr. Ford, how can he fairly hear Supreme Court cases?

I also haven’t heard Dr. Ford listening to Kavanaugh. She seemed to come forward with her story with the assumption that it would cause the Republicans not to nominate Kavanaugh. She could have shared her story and also said something like, “This was 36 years ago and people can change. I ask that Kavanaugh share with the American people how he has changed so that we can feel comfortable with him representing us.”

Speaking without judgment of the other side would allow a positive dialogue to happen on how best to resolve the differences and move forward. Neither side has been proven innocent or guilty so neither side should be condemned. What is most important to me is what kind of person Kavanaugh is now. If he did what Dr. Ford said and could demonstrate to me that he has changed, I would be willing to let him move on from the past, All I have to go on is what I have seen of him since he was nominated. His actions in handling the current situation indicate to me that he doesn’t have the ideal character to serve on the Supreme Court.

It’s not surprising. Our culture has a history of fighting and not hearing the other side. Although this is gradually changing, it isn’t happening fast enough for some of us!

I’m glad to be part of the change and to have created Songbird to help you and the world to change. If you want support in better communication, not taking things personally, not making assumptions, and getting over the traumatic experiences of your life, come explore the options at Songbird.