Thursday, August 5, 2010

Are You Listening?

This little one graduated from Kindergarten last May. I thought it would be cute to photograph her wearing her older sister's graduation cap.  
 As I watch my nieces and nephews grow and experience the world around them, I'm reminded from time to time of that book, All I Really Needed To Know I learned In Kindergarten. How often do I see now that the rules we learn in Kindergarten do apply to our lives forever. I think one of the first and foremost rules that they teach is to listen. Listen to the teacher. Listen. But as we we really know how to listen? I came across an article today and in it, the writer quotes from a book by Dave Roper called Teach Us To Number Our Days.  It had a nice little piece about listening. Or more to know when you are not listening.  I find I am  guilty of a few of these from time to time myself. 


I am thinking about an answer while others are talking.
I give unsolicited advice.
I suggest they shouldn't feel that way. 
I apply a quick fix to their problem.
I fail to acknowledge their feelings.
I fidget, glance at my watch or appear to be rushed. 
I fail to maintain eye contact. 
I don't ask follow up questions. 
I top their story with a bigger story. 
They share a difficult experience and I counter with one of my own.

WOW!. How many of us are guilty of not being good listeners.  I want to believe I am a good friend and that I am there for my friends when they have problems, but sometimes I am guilt of trying to apply a quick fix or failing to acknowledge their feelings.  I most certainly have tried to convince them they shouldn't feel a certain way. For me personally....I don't think its as much not it is trying to make the person feel better. I guess sometimes...I have to learn that just letting a person talk, and listening, might be all that is needed to help.  That is going to be a hard thing for me to step back and do...but I'm going to try my best. Because, I want to be a good friend, a good listener. Thanks for listening. 

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