Tag Archives: listening

Five Minute Friday: Listen

“Would you just shut up for a minute and listen to me!” I shouted angrily. I drew in a long breath and let it out. Then, quietly, “please?”

2 stuffed bears, one white, one brown, side by side looking out the window at a marina on the Pacific Ocean

When we listen with acceptance and without judgment, we speak volumes about how much we care.

Sometimes all we really want is for someone we love to hear us out. To not interrupt. To not offer interpretation. To do nothing other than to intensely focus on us, and to hang on every word we say. Continue reading

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Don’t Be a Know-It-All

When we’re used to being the one in charge, the one who makes the decisions and directs others to action, it can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking we know it all.

2 dozen geese on a fall pond, one is flapping its wings and squawking, while the others calmly ignore him

The know-it-all is so busy trying to impress others with his knowledge that he fails to recognize that while everyone can hear him, no one is listening to him.

Once caught in that trap, we can think we have nothing to learn from anyone else, and that everyone else could benefit from our knowledge.

At a dinner party a few months ago, I had the painful experience of watching this know-it-all scenario play out. It was a small, casual gathering of old friends and newcomers. Partway through the evening, someone posed a question to an expert with multiple degrees in an area of highly specialized science. Very quickly, someone else jumped into the conversation. This second person, we had learned earlier in the evening, is an accomplished professional with an impressive career. But it became clear very quickly he had only limited knowledge in this area of science. Continue reading

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Five Minute Friday: View

I’ve gotten up early to have some quiet time free from radio or TV or music streaming live from the Internet. Fog obscures the tops of buildings and limits my ability to see beyond a couple of blocks of houses to the fields and trees that surround our neighborhood.

two rows of grape vines growing, one on either side, with fog obscuring the rest of the vineyard and the surrounding countryside.

When denial obscures our thinking, it is easy to believe that we’re seeing all that there is to see and nothing is hidden from our view.

If I did not know better, I would think that everything I cannot see looks just like what I can see. In a few hours, the sun will shine so brightly that I will need sunglasses.

Misinformation is the fog that hides the truths we need. The truths that we need to make the right choices for ourselves, the choices that we would make if only we could see the truth. Continue reading

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