The Hard and Humbling Work of Listening

“I will stand here and listen, even if you don’t like me and want to listen to me.”

As I wrote down Dr. Abdul El-Sayed’s words, I was struck by their power as well as by their humility. Listening to people who may not even like you and want to listen to you? Who does that? These days, the surest way to demonstrate your antipathy to someone with whom you do not agree is to deny them the magnanimity of your listening.

Dr. El-Sayed knows a thing or two about not being liked, based solely on the sound of his surname and all of the…