Listening is healing. When we take the time to listen to another’s story, we learn more about that person while the person is able to heal as we give them our attention. We must put aside our own hurts temporarily to have our ears, eyes and hearts fully available to listen to someone else in a deep, attentive and caring way. If we offer this kindness and patience, respecting the other’s dignity, we may be honored with the powerful experience of being able to witness the other’s pain. We will hear stories of strength and struggle. In the end, we will have bonded with the one whose story we have listened to, that person will have felt heard by us, and we will have deepened our understanding of the issues we now face together. We will be able to acknowledge the pain of the other person’s experience. Then we can also come to care more deeply. In this way, we become more authentic with one another. Being in touch with our realest selves by telling our stories and expressing who we are in truth, is what we need to build bridges with others. Let us build an authentic humanity, full of diversity, full of uniqueness. Let us listen with an open heart, and allow ourselves to be affected by what we hear. Let us listen to one another to build trust, respect, and love.