Posts Tagged ‘family’

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Quotations on Listening and Family

February 27, 2008

As we approach International Listening Awareness Month (sponsored by the International Listening Association) in March, let’s take some time to reflect on several quotations about listening and its impact on our families. 

The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them. — Ralph Nichols

Education commences at the mother’s knee, and every word spoken within the hearing of little children tends towards the formation of character. – Hosea Ballou

I think a lot of our problems are because people don’t listen to our children. It is not always easy. They’re not always so brilliant that you want to spend hours with them. But it is very important to listen to them. – Barbara Bush

Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you. – Robert Fulghum

The most valuable gift you can give your child is to listen to the little and big things in his life. Begin early so that the lines of communication will be open during the teenage years. – Kimberly Keith

Just talking to your child is only half the job. You can keep the lines of communication open by knowing how to listen and when to talk. — National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign

Listen earnestly to anything [your children] want to tell you, no matter what. If you don’t listen eagerly to the little stuff when they are little, they won’t tell you the big stuff when they are big, because to them all of it has always been big stuff. But unless they are talking to you, stay out of it. Indiscriminate eavesdropping is a threat to parental sanity. – Catherine M. Wallace

Long before I wrote stories, I listened for stories. Listening for them is something more acute than listening to them. When their elders sit and begin, children are just waiting and hoping for one to come out, like a mouse from its hole. – Eudora Welty

Don’t feel that you must advise or help your child come up with a solution all the time. The value of listening is in the listening itself. – Kimberly Keith

The words that a father speaks to his children in the privacy of home are not heard by the world, but, as in whispering galleries, they are clearly heard at the end, and by posterity. – Jean Paul Ricther

The little child whispered, “God, speak to me.” And a meadowlark sang. But the child did not hear. So the child yelled, “God, speak to me!” And the thunder rolled across the sky. But the child did not listen. The child looked around and said, “God let me see you.” And a star shone brightly. But the child did not notice. And the child shouted, “God show me a miracle!” And a life was born. But the child did not know. So the child cried out in despair, “Touch me God, and let me know you are here!” Whereupon God reached down and touched the child. But the child brushed the butterfly away and walked away unknowingly. Take time to listen. Often times, the things we seek are right underneath our noses. Don’t miss out on your blessing because it isn’t packaged the way that you expect. — Anonymous

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“Too Busy” to Listen?

November 16, 2007

This morning, I “Googled” the expression “too busy to listen,” and guess how many web pages used this expression? Get ready . . . there were more than 29,000 pages! (Take the quotation marks off the search phrase and the total soars to nearly three million.)

I wonder how many of us, in our day to day lives, ever say to another, “Sorry, I was just too busy to listen effectively”? I bet it would be more than we’d like to admit.

The Rev. Adrian Dieleman posted a sermon on his church website, where he shares “a ‘Dennis the Menace’ cartoon in the newspaper a few years ago illustrates this so very well. Dennis wanted to tell his parents something important. But he just couldn’t get their attention. They were too busy cleaning out the closet or something. Dennis even rang the doorbell. Finally, out of desperation, he deliberately dropped his mother’s crystal vase on the floor and broke it. Then, and only then, did his parents listen to him.”

Dieleman continues, “There are many parents who say ‘later’ or ‘don’t bother me now’ to their children. There are lots of people whose busy lifestyle does not allow them much time to visit elderly parents. There are many corporations that are so busy trying to capture new markets and make bigger profits that they don’t take the time to listen to the complaints, problems, or suggestions of their employees.”

What’s going on in your life? Family? Work? Volunteering? Oh yes, and time for yourself?

What happens when we make the choice not to listen? We harm relationships, we spend time in rework, and we miss out on an opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life. Sometimes, that “someone” is ourself.

Take time to listen. There’s power in listening.