you & me

To the Openhearted Men: I Applaud You.


There is a lot of upheaval in our world, and people are saying that things are only getting worse.

But then I notice an interview with the British Prince Harry and I think… nah, things are getting better.

We have a lot to be angry at or to be frightened for. In my own country the Netherlands, in Europe, in the United States and in the rest of the world. Political leaders, for instance, with a loud voice and opinions that turn relationships all over the world upside down. Opinions about climate, borders, human rights, women’s rights. It seems that we are losing many things we’ve fought for in the past decades.

It seems that our world is changing for the worse. Many people are upset and angry, and I totally understand why.

But then I notice the interview with Prince Harry about his campaign Heads Together and his feelings about his mother Princess Diana’s death, and I notice something that makes me very optimistic.

I’ve seen it before recently with Justin Trudeau, for instance, the prime minister of Canada, with singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, and with the Dutch king Willem Alexander, who in an interview openly shared his feelings about his brother’s death. And recently with Jimmy Kimmel, who talked on television about his feelings after the birth of his son.

I see men who also have an opinion and who also want to reach a certain goal. Who share their opinion with others, but with a totally different kind of voice.

Powerful voices

There is a difference in using your voice, and using your voice.

There are persons with a loud voice who, especially when confronted with adversity, make their outspoken opinions more than clear. Usually they talk about the other person and hold others accountable for when things go wrong. They believe that someone else should come up with the solutions, and with their loud voices they try to win arguments.

Although their voices are loud, to me they don’t feel powerful. It rather feels as if they’re overwhelmed with what they are experiencing and they don’t know how to deal with it. It feels as if the things on the outside control them, instead that they have control over the things that are happening to them.

Then there are persons who use their voice with sensitivity, coming from a place of empathy. Persons who, even if they are faced with adversity, are able to feel how something affects themselves and how something affects another. Persons who show their feelings to others.

Persons who are able to reflect, who are able to think and subsequently share their feelings in complete and comprehensible phrases with their fellow human beings. Persons who do their best to find respectful and dignified words to express themselves. Persons who are able to listen and truly hear other people’s opinions even if they are very different from their own, without falling apart.

Persons who understand that together you are stronger than apart.

That is not easy. It is no walk in the park. It requires strength to really feel your feelings and the feelings from others. It takes courage to open your heart. It takes courage to show how you feel. That, to me, is powerful.

It takes courage and strength to live your life in this way. It takes even more courage and strength to turn your life around  and start living likes this again.

If you would ask me to whom I prefer to listen to, I would say the latter, the openhearted ones. Because in those dialogues I hear and see someone who is real. Someone who’s familiar with the good times and shows he can handle the hard times as well. Someone who knows what they’re talking about. Someone who has gone through hardship, and has emerged on the other side and learned something from it.

Someone who is willing to share these hard-earned lessons with others, and truly desires to see those less fortunate having the same better life as well. Someone who, by sharing his feelings, dares to show a little bit of himself which makes it easier for me to relate to him.

In troubled times, those are the persons I look up to. Those are the persons I listen to.

I see more and more powerful women these days, but what is more important, I see an increasing number of powerful men like these. Men, like Prince Harry, who have the courage to open their heart and find the strength to use their voice with sensitivity. That makes me hopeful.

Yeah, things are definitely getting better.


LindaVanDerKwastLinda van der Kwast is a writer, a storyteller and a certified aura reader. She loves to explore what it is that moves people, and she has no fear of diving deep into a human soul to find that out. She likes writing about feelings and intuition. She hopes that one day people will recognize the powerful gift of feeling again. It inspired her to start her website. At times she mistakes the sea to be her home, and you’ll find her at the beach, far horizons filling her eye, wondering what’s out there. Closer to home you can meet her at Facebook or Twitter with a cup of tea and chocolate, balancing between expressing herself in Dutch and English.


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