After 9-11 in 2001, our friend, Denise, said her kids had lots of questions about the Muslim faith. Her children had several classmates who were Muslim, and Denise had become friends with some of the mothers.
Instead of presuming she knew the answers, Denise invited her children’s classmates, including their mothers, to her home. Denise asked the Muslim mothers, “My children don’t understand your religion. Will you share with us about your beliefs, customs and practices?”
That day, the families listened and learned things that eliminated many misunderstandings and allowed everyone to feel respected, even if they disagreed.
Proverbs 18:13 teaches, “To answer before listening— that is folly and shame.”
Our workplaces are becoming far more diverse. Listening to others, before answering, can build bridges of respect our communities desperately need.