Most people don’t listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.  Citizen engagement exercises often fail because people are just so impatient to talk and give an opinion.  But sometimes words diminish their true meaning.  The language of politics used to belong to the political elites, but they have squandered and hollowed out those terms.  The real language of democracy is the language of community, but for that to occur we have to listen and understand before speaking.

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