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 grow...do 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 aptly...how to know when you are not listening. I find I am guilty of a few of these from time to time myself.
I AM NOT LISTENING WHEN......
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 listening...is 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.