Please listen without judgement for 5 mins
text / Sandy
At Lunar New Year, what will we experience ? We all fear that street conflicts, which have lasted for 7 months, will also happen at home.
Fed up by several words, the whole family immediately becomes fireground. The disaster occurs not only during Chinese New Year, but also in daily lives for the last 7 months.
At the beginning of the project, we collected 'Words that Trigger Anger’ from protestors. Not to mention hearing or watching protestors’ role play, I have already been fed up by reading words.To be more precise, I would say I am sad.
‘It's you to destroy Hong Kong, COCKROACH’
'You’re just so up yourself by being frontline protester’
‘ Others must be get paid by pretending to protest. You go out for nothing? Such a dumb.’
‘If you don’t go out, you will not be surrounded by tear gas. You ask for it.’
‘She deserved it. If she did nothing, her eyes would not be stuck.’
‘Have you been raped?’
‘You are doxxed by ‘blue-ribbons’ which implicate me’
‘How come youngsters could be so silly to get caught spontaneously ? What’s next?’
‘Why are you provoked by these words?’ We asked protesters again. Once you look into the reasons behind, you feel sad as you can tell they are misunderstood.
‘That’s not the truth.’
'Protestors have paid so much but what they gain?’
‘He doesn’t understand the youth’s despair.’
‘which make me memorize being bullied and wronged in the past’
‘The guy, who used to be just and kind, disappeared.’
‘They are all talk and no actions. However, when youngsters take actions, they just complain.’
When growing up, we just learn how to present ourselves but rarely learn to turn on our listening mode. Recently, I have been studying Nonviolent Communication. Instructors Chi, Siu Cho and Ruby always mention ‘Sympathy Listening’, which includes no complicated skills but simply returns to human’s zero step.
I like the challenge raised by Oren Jay Sofer, the author of Say what you mean. He said we always talk to others. However, how many times do we truly listen to others, say what we mean without offence or even attacks?
We will be sharing protesters’ voices and words. May busy Hongkongers, especially those who are parents, be willing to listen to the young generation’’s inner thoughts without judgement? The first story we shared is Nam’s one. She and her parents both work in the education field. They gently speak without loud arguments. While within parents’ judgement and denial, you could hear the young generation’s despair. Indeed, our collected stories are not soft or even trigger your emotions.
Oren Jay Sofer once shared 3 steps of communication in his book. First , presence. Second, listen to others with curiosity and care. Treat themselves as yourself. We all have our important needs including feeling safe, loved, understood, achievement, etc. Can we discover these needs from others’ mean words? Can we wonder why they own those needs and desires? Third, let the dialogue be focused on important stuff. Make clear of your intention of communication.The so-called important stuff is not changing family members’ stance, but to understand them. Many frontline protestors long for little; they just want you to say ‘Dear, I do care about you and don’t want you to get hurt.’
It is hard to say love. It might be embarrassing but everyone needs to study love. If the 7-month-protest is the battle which stems from the love of Hong Kong, Let us strive till the end and learn to safeguard our home.