Our need as a species to communicate is within our genetics.
We all want, and desire, to be heard and to be understood. In short, we want to be accepted.
But while many people are talking and yelling, other folks are thinking of what to say.
This begs the question - is anyone really listening?
I remember as a child my parents telling me that there is a big difference between hearing someone, and listening to someone.
Hearing is equated to a sound, in that anyone can say, "I hear you.".
But listening requires comprehension and understanding.... it requires effort.
There's been a lot going on with Autisable, and one of the aspects of working on a site that reaches out and helps the Autism community - is to ensure that the site has a consistent message that is relatable. This can always prove a challenge to any business or organization that tries to serve its respective demographic.
The Autism community is as diverse in its opinions and efforts as the spectrum itself. This diversity is both its strength, and it's weakness.
First, it crosses many standard demographics - it's not just a racial issue, nor is it a specific age issue. It affects a broad range of people - from Parents, to Grandparents, to Siblings... and most of all - to those who are on the spectrum.
The goal is to find commonalities - and to make sure that all aspects of the community have the opportunity to be heard.
People need to be at least heard, but it's up to us to actually Listen - as individuals, as a community, and as a business/organization.
To ensure that Autisable is on target with its efforts, there are regular phone calls and e-mails with all aspects of the community. This effort is to make sure that we understand what the community at large is wanting, and needing. At times the autism community is at odds with itself, and this division has hindered the progress of the message of the community being heard.
Having input from all aspects of the Autism community is key to making sure Autisable remains a respectable vision. This means listening not only to those that the public regularly sees and hears, but also to those who aren't or don't have the opportunity to be seen and/or heard.
But it's not just Autisable that has had this challenge to remain relatable in terms of communication and message, the same can be said for Xanga.
Allow me for a moment to share....
For those that have been a part of Xanga for the past several years know and wonder if your voice is being heard, and if The Xanga Team is even listening.
As a liaison, my purpose is to ensure that the Team has the requests and suggestions (and complaints) that the community has - and do what I can to let you know that they have heard it.
I can only encourage everyone that your frustration, your hope, and your suggestions and complaints have been heard... and that the Team has been listening. It's up now to the Team to communicate that they have not only heard what you've asked me to pass along, but that they have been listening.
Communication is a dialogue - and that dialogue requires all parties involved to listen to one another.
Social media allows us to share our thoughts and ideas at a moment, a split second. But it also reminds us that in order to be social, we must not only share our ideas, but we must be willing to hear and listen to other people's thoughts and ideas openly and without judgement.
Perspectives always differ, and listening to other people's perspective is like having a mirror before you... sometimes you may like what you see, and other times you may not.
There's always another thought, another idea... let's keep the dialogue going.