Voices We Listen To – Impacts on Sustainable Progress

In the last few weeks, I have spoken with many people who are dissatisfied with communication. Some feel they are hitting a brick wall when trying to convince loved ones to live in a more sustainable way. Some are frustrated with a dearth of political voices or voices of those in authority that they can really respect and admire. Some have questioned mainstream media, and bemoaned the difficulties of ‘getting through’ to those who do not think in the same way we do, or believe the same things.

This has led me to think about the voices we listen to – where those voices are coming from, who shouts loudest, what those voices are saying and what that means for our attempts to transition to a fairer, more ethical and more sustainable world.

Whether we are truly aware of it or not, we are all influenced by the voices we listen to. In our daily lives, online, on TV and in other media, we have a lot of voices all the time trying to get our attention. Unfortunately, all too often, those voices simply parrot back our own beliefs, or tell us what we want to hear.

Unfortunately, we also have to be aware of the ‘agenda’ behind the voices we hear. There are voices trying to sell us things…. voices trying to gain power… voices with self-interest front and centre… some spread truth – others misinformation or downright lies. In the sea of noise we experience on a daily basis, it is often difficult to discern the difference.

We each live in a ‘bubble’ and this means that when it comes to the voices we hear, we may not hear of other ways of life, or others who think in a different way. This can give us a skewed vision of the world. It can lead to deep-seated beliefs that are not truly questioned as they should be.

To truly make sustainable progress, we need to be a little ‘uncomfortable’ some of the time. We need to be shaken out of our bubbles and avoid a sense of complacency. We need to really think about the voices we listen to with analytical minds. We need to question everything, take nothing for granted, and be more open to new ideas.

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