The Sling Diaries, Volume VII. A photo-documentary chronicling the art of baby wearing in the lives of families around the world. Over the course of six months, Sling Diarists will create their own Sling Diary though a series of diary entries interpreting a unique theme given to them each month.
Meet all of our Sling Diarists here.
A white flower grows in the stillness.
Let your tongue be that flower.
We spend a lot of our lives talking. Some studies say we speak upwards of 16,000 words a day. Many of us will use all of the words in the dictionary approximately 14.5 times if we live to 75 years old. Google it. You talk a lot. If you haven’t taken a vow of silence, you are transmitting a lot of information. And in this age of nearly constant and instant communication, the rules of conversation and articulation are changing.
I have found this transition to public conversation challenging. Public opinion feels very in-my-face. Am I mothering the right way? HuffPo says no sometimes and yes others. Am I advocating the right way? Am I feminist enough or entirely too much? Depends on the talk of the day and tomorrow it might be different. Am I invited into this discussion? Google doesn’t even know.
My children are growing up in a world that was beyond my own imagination as a child. The online platform is a vehicle for every person or their persona to publicly speak their truths, and in many cases, their ignorances.
But the truth speakers. Those are the voices I find myself wading through the garbage to find.
I want to teach my children that their voices are important, but their actions are stronger. That their voices are only as important as the voices they listen to. Are you listening to the voices that need to be heard? Are you really hearing them?
Those lionhearted people who are speaking their truths—can you hear them without speaking over them? Without minimizing their experiences by injecting your own? Even when there is anger and sadness in that voice, can you hear?
Our voices are powerful tools—perhaps our most powerful tool—for telling our own stories, bringing people together, advocating. To be powerful, what you say must be real.
The speaking part has always been easy for me. I was told my whole life that my voice mattered, my opinion mattered, my truth mattered. I was systemically invited to participate in discussion and debate in which I had no experience. Spending time unlearning this has been challenging.
Speak your understanding by listening. Being a good friend, a good person, a good ally often means not being included in the conversation because the conversation isn’t about you. It is good, it is hard, to listen.