Monday, April 14, 2014

A to Z '14 - Listening

For this year's A to Z Challenge, I am honoring my grandfather who passed away on April 3, 2013.

L is for Listening.

We were given two ears to listen and only one mouth to speak.

My grandfather taught me the value of being a good listener in a few ways.

First off, the man deserves sainthood for listening to me for the 33 years I was in his life (or he was in mine). I was an avid talker from a young age. God knows how much he had to listen to me ramble, but he did. And he never complained about it.

Simply teaching by example, he showed me that we needed to not just hear the words that were being said to us, but to listen. To fully comprehend the person, the emotions, the language. By watching him, I learned to listen.

On the flip side of that, I would listen to him all day if I could. I was the child who actually loved to listen to her grandfather's stories. I would sit and listen and converse and ask questions and soak it all in. Listening to him was simply the greatest.

Listening is so important. We need to listen to our spouses, our children, our co-workers and bosses. So often we just hear other people. Like Charlie Brown's teachers, we hear noise, not words. But that needs to change. We need to fully engage ourselves in our conversations. We need to listen and pay attention. We need to be respectful of those we talk with. Note that I said with and not to. We need to talk WITH people, not TO them.

Listening is a skill we can learn at any age and need to practice at every age.

L is for Listening.

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