The goal of compassionate listening is to listen, give positive feedback, and allow someone to feel heard. If you feel heard, then you are more likely and willing to hear from another. Through this process, we learn respect for each others story and can help each other mend and heal. That leaves space for gradual acceptance of differences and the possibility of change.
In November, I went to Israel and Palestine with the Compassionate Listening Project (www.compassionatelistening.org). Through this project, we spoke to many people about their feelings about the Israel/ Palestine conflict.
There were 22 of us in the group plus two co-leaders: Leah Green, an American Jew, and Maha El-Taji, a Muslim Palestinian. We met Israelis and Jewish, Muslim and Palestinian political leaders. We met Palestinian Muslims, Christians, Hamas leaders, refugee camp leaders, and people on the street everywhere. Through them we heard of the many sorrows and pain of the rift in the Middle East and how it has hurt everyone.
Here are a couple of stories: