Listening is a gift
"One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually
listening to what another has to say."
Bryant H. McGill
Regardless of the successful accomplishments in life I think everyone values being listened to and feeling good about themselves after engaging in conversation. Whenever I am in an unfamiliar social setting I will ask a few key questions to the person at the event about themselves. Last week my wife and I went to a social meeting with longtime friends. I was sitting next to someone who is known to be rather shy. During lunch I listened to how he and his wife are living their lives to the fullest. By listening I learned several ideas on how I can implement some of his ideas into our life.
This past week has been difficult for most people in America. For us voting was a painful decision because of the choices of candidates to become our next president. Once I did cast my vote I felt a sigh of relief and was pleased I fulfilled my responsibility and exercised my privilege to vote. At that moment I made a promise to myself that I would accept the outcome of the election and focus my efforts on making the best of the outcome.
In my opinion the outcome of the election happened because many people have been frustrated with politics and feel they have not been listened to by our local, state and national representatives.
With the tremendous amount of energy being expended by those unhappy with the results of the election I want to suggest that they could benefit from the realization that even with a difference of opinion friendships and relationships can endure. Respect is the key here, respect for those who think differently than you. If those hostile angry feelings and energy could be transformed into promoting positive possibilities to make our world a better place, great things could be accomplished.
Good listening is certainly a skill. For each of us it can start with attentive listening to our own children and grandchildren tell their stories. Once they feel appreciated and listened to hopefully they will listen to the stories of their family and friends. Frustration and anxiety are often tamed and even transformed by a listening ear. One of the best gifts my grandparents gave me was their gift of listening, offering comfort and security in the difficult times of tremendous tensions in our world in the early 1940s. Both sides of my family were also dealing with the uncertainty of having a son missing in action.
These next few months will afford each of us great opportunities to listen to one another and offer positive ideas on how we can make the world a better place.
I like the spiral notebook approach to creating change and opening new doors for living life to the fullest. Open the notebook in the middle on one page write down everything you would like to see changed or that you would like to bring into your life. On the other side write down an action plan on how you plan to make these things happen. Once you have completed this exercise let you closest friends and family know what you plan to do so that they can support you in achieving your goals.
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