How much of your day do you spend listening to other people? I don’t mean half-heartedly nodding along while you mentally multi-task. I mean actively being present with another human being. These opportunities for connection are becoming increasingly rare in our hyper-connected world where distractions abound. It’s difficult to stay focused long enough to listen to the people you love, let alone engage thoughtfully with someone you disagree with, whether that be your boss, a difficult colleague or someone whose political affiliations differ from yours.
Yet we’re facing a loneliness epidemic spurred on by disconnection. Being heard, feeling seen and getting validation are not only crucial components of good communication, but they are also essential for mental health.
Sidewalk Talk is an initiative that attempts to bridge the gaps we face today and give voice to marginalized emotions, people and communities. A team of volunteers take to city streets across the globe, simply sitting outside in chairs, eager to listen to any stranger who comes along wanting to chat. In these high-conflict times, Sidewalk Talk is attempting to use listening to heal, which is why when I first heard about the project, I knew I had to get inside the mind of the woman who started it, Traci Ruble.
In this interview, she discusses her inspiration for starting Sidewalk Talk along with the powerful ways the initiative is serving diverse, marginalized communities. Traci, a seasoned psychotherapist, also breaks down practical tips you can use to become a better listener…
We are checking this out now!!
This movement was brought to us by …
Social Good Fund
Makers4Good is a nonprofit entity fiscally sponsored by SocialGood Fund, a 501(c)(3) organization.
SocialGood works to create and establish positive influences for individuals, communities, and the environment. Our goal is to sponsor and develop projects that will help positively impact and develop local communities into healthier and happier places to live, work, and be.