My Dog and My Smart Earbuds Have Helped My Personal Growth and Development

Corona Virus and quarantine was one thing, but now that I’m being forced to confront my own privilege as well as police brutality and racial injustice, I don’t feel like I have the skills or tools or language to properly or responsibly engage in the huge discussions that are necessarily occurring right now. Luckily, Hazel, my dog and walking companion has offered to help. With her guidance, my smart earbuds, and an overwhelming amount of audio content available, I think I have a fighting chance to meet the moment.

Smart Earbuds Help Curate Content 

Hazel and I have been going on mindless walks around the neighborhood every morning since she joined our family. She’s not much of a reader so we usually use this time to listen to our favorite podcasts. Recently though, with the help of my smart earbuds, I’ve been trying to me more thoughtful on the content I seek out. For example, I was recently listening to On Being with Krista Tippett discussing whiteness with Eula Biss. In that discussion, Biss referenced an essay she wrote for the New Times Magazine, a discussion with Claudia Rankine, the work of Ta-Nehisi Coates, an essay by James Baldwin, and book by Noel Ignatiev. “Hey Siri, make a note.”

Claudia Rankine’s Citizen is available in audio format and narrated by the author herself and both of Coates’s recent books We Were Eight Years in Power and Between the World and Me are also available as audio books. In addition to that, both Coates and Rankine have appeared in several recent Podcast discussions. I hope Hazel is up to the task. We have a lot of walking to do.

It may sound absurd to suggest that smart earbuds can play an important role in my personal development, but I think it’s true. The outside world is noisy and there so much happening that it can feel overwhelming. Hazel feels the same way. The two hours we spend together, her leading the way, and me following while listening to something meaningful, have become both precious, and important. I not only feel better suited to face the challenges of the day, but my smart earbuds have allowed me to curate additional content for the road ahead.