A courageous question is one that asks, “Am I wrong?” or at least allows for that possibility. It is one that knows what you are going to say is hard. A courageous question takes a risk.
Listening courageously is a mirror. It has no defenses. It doesn’t try to stop the words before they hit your heart. Courageous listening also acknowledges the possibility of being wrong. Courageous listening doesn’t speak, doesn’t justify, doesn’t interrupt.
I’ve been both the listener and the speaker. I’ve asked, “Is this transphobic?” I’ve heard, “Why are you yelling at me?” I’ve asked, “How am I wrong?” I’ve heard, “I don’t understand why you’re hurt.” These have all been hard and scary but worth it.
What was the last courageous question you asked? When did you last listen with courage? How did it go?