Listen and Learn

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

The reading “Sustainability,” from Lexicon for an Anthropocene Yet Unseen, reinforces a line of thought from many classes I have taken: we must engage everyone in discussion in order to create true solutions. And in order to engage all parties in discussion, we must be willing to learn the words and ways of other cultures. Cultures are not easily translated. It is something we have to continue to work at in order to grasp any sort of an understanding, and yet time and time again decisions that impact others are made by those who have not put any effort into understanding global and local cultures.

One line from the reading really stuck out to me, “Meanwhile, we might also pay attention to whose practices of time and space dominate the discussions and whose go ignored.” We have mentioned a few times in past classes how certain groups of people are disproportionately affected by climate change. Despite this, they are often the ones whose voices go ignored in discussions of sustainability. It is extremely important to listen to these groups and learn from what they are doing to maintain their lives. We must include the voices of those with first-hand experience in order to learn the true effects of the Anthropocene, as well as what solutions are feasible for them. I have seen so many band aid type solutions when it comes to climate change that are problematic in essence, but also fail to take into account the culture of an area. Just because something sounds great on paper does not mean it will be truly helpful for residents.

Not everyone shares the same experiences, nor do we all have the same ideas. This is where the issue of language comes in. In order to truly listen, we must work harder to understand the connotations and nuances surrounding language to better prepare for a future that we are fearful for.

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