Friday, January 13, 2017

Remembering a Man of Peaceful Discourse, Learning and Reflection

Earlier today, GBMC hosted its 3rd annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration which commemorated Dr. King’s life and vision. This year’s program, titled “Hear My Voice, Engage My Soul,” featured a keynote presentation by the Rev. Dr. Tim Tooten, who is also the education reporter at WBAL-TV, along with live music from the Cristo Rey Choir. I would like to begin my blog post with my introductory remarks from the celebration.

Have you watched television talk shows recently where the participants take turns shouting over each other? This is why they are called talk shows. Have you heard of television shows that are called “hear” shows or “listen” shows? I have not. We may only have talk shows because our society is full of people who “know” and want to “tell”.

I believe that our difficulty listening to and hearing others is one of the main reasons why we have such huge divides between groups of people today whether the line of demarcation is race, religion, income level, or rural vs urban habitat. Those who would divide us continue to talk without hearing.

Men and Women of good will must stop listening to their own voices and hear the voice of others. This is a message of Dr. King that we must take time to listen to what others are saying in order to understand and engage them to improve their lives and our own and improve our communities. We at GBMC must work hard to assure that all of our voices are heard, that we engage everyone and that everyone feels included.

I am grateful to Jennifer Marana, our new Director of Diversity and Inclusion and all of my colleagues on the Diversity and Inclusion Council for helping to drive us closer together. United, we can achieve our vision of being the healthcare system where everyone, every time is treated the way we want our own loved ones treated. If we don’t hear each other and engage each other we have no hope of achieving this lofty goal.

I want to thank Dr. Tooten, members of the Cristo Rey Choir and our Black History Month committee that put together today’s magnificent celebration!

How much can anyone “know” if they are only listening to their own voice?  Dr. King was a well-read man who knew the importance of gathering information and reflecting on it prior to speaking and of the importance of hearing the voice of others. Let us all remember this as we move towards our vision at GBMC and we move into the next chapter in the leadership of our country.

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