Posts Tagged ‘quote’

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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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Give the Gift of Listening

December 24, 2007

Consider for a moment a variation on an early scene from my favorite movie of all time, the 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz:

Aunt Em: Why don’t you find a place where [you will be listened to]!
Dorothy: A place where [I will be listened to]. Do you suppose there is such a place Toto? There must be. It’s not a place you can get to by a boat or a train. It’s far, far away. Behind the moon, beyond the rain.

What can I give my family and friends for Christmas? This lament is likely to be heard around the globe as people struggle with gift choices for their hard-to-buy-for loved ones. Here’s an idea for you: become someone who is known for listening to your loved ones. And then, really, truly, deeply listen to them. Make this commitment to them in writing. The feeling of being listened to is one that will last long beyond the mayhem of Christmas morning.

Especially for close friends and family members, consider spending some private time with them and interviewing them about their lives. StoryCorps, “an independent, nonprofit project whose mission is to honor and celebrate one another’s lives through listening,” suggests questions you can ask to help you get started. (You can use their Question Generator to create a customized list of questions, or simply use their Question List.) Or, you may want to ask several of the questions around the dinner table rather than focusing all the questions toward one person. You’ll be surprised at some of the things you never knew. The more you know, the richer your relationships will be.

And if you want to go one step further, try one of these ideas, too:

At least for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, remember to “whole-face listen” to those you are spending time with. They’ll appreciate it. And you’ll become closer to them in the process.