The following post was written by Global Gap Year Fellow David Gonzalez Chavez.

Listening and hearing are extremely different actions, but at the same time they’re often hard to differentiate. I’ve gone through most of my life hearing what people say; processing their words in a simplistic, surface-level manner for the purpose of advancing the discussion. I rarely put in the effort to go beyond the surface, to understand the emotions and lived experiences attached to those words. In conversations, I found myself diverting most of my focus not towards what I was being told, but instead towards how I might find a way to interject and force my perspective when oftentimes it might not be needed or valued.

Failing to truly listen to others is damaging during regular life because it breaks down communication. If I’m constantly searching for an entry point for my views, I’m not taking in the […]