before we speak:

There are constellations of subjects we can speak of and universes made of the space between us and understanding.

I am not here to preach “tolerance”. To simply tolerate another is to make no effort to understand the experience and struggle of another human.

I will not tolerate the an idea of “tolerance” that requires me to entertain the ideas of people who do not even understand the basics of a subject, nor have the ability to comprehend simple statements.

I am not here to make you feel good. I am not here to be a teacher to an indignant, petulant student. It is a choice to remain ignorant, and it is one that I will not respect.

If you want me to speak to you with respect then do not come to me in bad faith. Do not come to me with arrogant dismissal of my ability and intellect to comprehend a situation, with the assumption that I have not done the work.

Come to me with the patience you expect from me. Realize that we often speak from unequal positions, whether desired or not. Realize that anger does not invalidate an idea, nor does composure elevate one. Realize that there are manners of disrespect that run deeper than the surface.

I am here, I am vulnerable and I am willing to speak. If you are willing to listen compassionately, with matched vulnerability then I will hear you as well.

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