Communicate better, listen more

Day 1 after an election that made me reflect a lot. The German magazine “Die Zeit”, well known for their liberal progressive views, read mostly by a highly educated politicized, economically well off part of Germany, published a piece hit me like a slap in the face. The author basically claims that it is the arrogance with which the well-educated liberal class approaches life that is to blame for the rise of authoritarian or racist politicians. And she makes a good point: We  define what’s hip, we define what we legitimately accept as a real challenge, we use the coolest technologies without considering their affordability and we chose to ignore or belittle whatever does not fit. And it so happens that our cosmopolitan macro world view does, as a matter of fact, not consider the small man’s issues. I might offer a translated version of the article after checking in with the author.

The core argument, that we ignore and marginalize a significant part of society and make them feel left out, is something that happens naturally, not intentionally. All of my time I spend with my colleagues, friends from grad school or at working out at an “elite” crossfit gym. So maybe it is time to communicate better what I am doing, how I am thinking, open to criticism, open to being made aware of the flaws in my value system.

I felt so overwhelmed and hopeless yesterday, so I started journaling. With the intention of only writing down what I am thankful for. And realized that I am incredibly thankful and still humbled for being able to live freely as an immigrant in this country, getting to know cultures, being challenged every day at work. And then I thought: It always sounds so generic when I hear other people say that. What does that even mean? How hard can it be? “Getting to know cultures” or “being challenged at work”?

I have decided to restructure my blog and create a new section about my work experience, calling it “startup adventures”. It will contain impressions, pieces on my struggles, insecurities, beautiful/emotional moments, my everyday life…at least that’s one thing I can start doing right now: Communicate better, and listen more.

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