To Be Known and Be Heard

By Keri Potter (’15)

‘Be Known’ is a George Fox slogan that is thrown around in casual conversation on campus all the time. Yes, George Fox is a place to be known. With an emphasis on small class sizes, different clubs and service projects, it is easy to be plugged in and known in the George Fox Community. But, what about being heard? 

Recently in chapel we had Tony Kriz as a guest speaker. He asked us, as listeners, to raise our hands if we identified with the statements he read. He asked us to be respectful of one another as we shared parts of our stories through this simple activity by looking around the auditorium and seeing the people who were in the same places as ourselves. It was a moment where we could be heard by one another; not just see a face and place a name with it, but know each other for who we are. Tony gave us the opportunity to meet each other in uncomfortable, but real places.

Being known is a key aspect of George Fox culture, but what would it look like to take more time to hear each other’s stories? What if we started knowing each other by listening? What if we took the time to hear the stories of what we each bring to the table? What if listening leads to meeting each other where we are at? What would happen to the George Fox community if we didn’t only seek to be known, but allow each other to be heard?

The beautiful moment of honesty within our campus by students being open with where they are at brings me to challenge each of us. I want to challenge all of you, myself included, to not only know each other but also hear each other. I challenge you to reach out and listen to the story of someone you have not met. Let them be heard and feel valued.

Let’s continue being a community where we are known, but also where we are heard. And who knows, maybe you will find truth in someone’s story that is also a part of your own.

The opportunities we have on this campus to share life with one another are countless, and just another reason why George Fox is not only a school but also a home.

Keri is a junior communication arts major at George Fox