On Listening (an excerpt)

“When I ask you to listen
and you start giving advice,
you have not done what I have asked.

When I ask you to listen to me
and you begin to tell me why I shouldn’t feel that way,
you are trampling on my feelings.

When I ask you to listen
and you feel you have to do something to solve my problem,
you have failed me, strange as it may seem.

All I asked was that you listen;
not talk or do-just hear me . . . I can do for myself.

I’m not helpless.
Maybe discouraged and faltering, but not helpless.

When you do something for me that I can and need to do for myself,
you contribute to my fear and feeling of inadequacy.

But when you accept as fact that I do feel what I feel, no matter how irrational,
then I can quit trying to convince you and get about the business of understanding what’s behind this irrational feeling.

And when that’s clear, the answers are obvious and I don’t need advice.”
~ Ralph Boughton, M.D, quoted in The 8th Habit, Stephen R. Covey, Free Press, New York, 2004

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Express your voice, no matter what

People are often unreasonable, and self-centered;

forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish ulterior motives;

be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends, and some true friends;

succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;

be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;

build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;

be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;

do good anyway.

  Give the world your best anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God;

it was never between you and them anyway.

~ Mother Teresa


Mother-Teresa-collage (Photo credit: Peta-de-Aztlan)

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Today’s quote: always living to the fullest

English: Alfred Lord Tennyson. Arguably Lincol...

English: Alfred Lord Tennyson. Arguably Lincolnshire’s most famous son, Alfred Lord Tennyson was born at Somersby in the Wolds. His great friend G.F.Watts RA, OM completed this bronze casting when he was 86 years old but didn’t live to see its unveiling by Lady Brownlow on 15th July 1905. This twice life-size statue in Minster Green shows the Poet Laureate in an Inverness cloak, deep in thought contemplating a flower, accompanied by his beloved Siberian Wolfhound ‘Karenina’. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“I cannot rest from travel: I will drink
Life to the lees all times I have enjoyed
Greatly, have suffered greatly, both with those
That loved me and alone . . .

How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unfurnished, not to shine in use!
As though to breathe were life! . . .

. . . And though
We are not that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”
~ from the poem Ulysses written in 1842 by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Victorian poet, (1809 – 1892)

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Today’s quote: don’t be afraid to listen

“The beginning of wisdom is listening. Listening that is empathic enables parents to hear the feelings that the words try to convey, to hear what children are feeling and experiencing . . . Parents need an open mind and an open heart, which will help them to listen to all kinds of truths, be they pleasant or unpleasant. But many parents are afraid of listening because they may not like what they hear.”
~ Haim Ginott, child psychologist and psychotherapist, parent educator, (1922-1973)

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Today’s quote: Our children are marvels

English: A centenary statue of Pau Casals at M...

English: A centenary statue of Pau Casals at Montserrat, Spain. The inscription below it reads “Pau Casals, Centenari Del Seu Naixement, 1876-1976” (Pau Casal, Centenary Of His Birth, 1876-1976). Français : Une statue du centenaire de Pau Casals à Montserrat, en Espagne. Au pied de la statue, on peut lire: “Pau Casals, Centenari Del Seu Naixement, 1876-1976” (Pau Casals, Centenaire de sa naissance, 1876-1976). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“ . . . And what do we teach our children? We teach them that two and two make four, and Paris is the capital of France. When will we teach them what they are?

We should say to each of them: Do you know what you are? You are a marvel. You are unique. In all the years that have passed, there has never been another child like you. Your legs, your arms, your clever fingers, the way you move.

You may become a Shakespeare, a Michelangelo, a Beethoven. You have the capacity for anything. Yes, you are a marvel. And when you grow up, can you then harm another one who is, lie you, a marvel?

You must work, we must work, to make the world worthy of its children.”
~ Pablo Casals, Spanish cellist

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Today’s quote: accepting and appreciating others

Carl Rogers Quote

Carl Rogers Quote (Photo credit: Psychology Pictures)

“One of the most satisfying feelings I know … comes from my appreciating [an] individual in the same way that I appreciate a sunset. People are just as wonderful as sunsets if I can let them be. In fact, perhaps the reason we can truly appreciate a sunset is that we cannot control it. When I look at a sunset as I did the other evening, I don’t find myself saying, ’Soften the orange on the right hand corner, and put a bit more purple along the base, and use a little more pink in the cloud color.’ I don’t do that. I don’t try to control a sunset. I watch it with awe as it unfolds.”
~ Carl Rogers, A Way of Being, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, New York, 1995

May be especially relevant with children as a stepping stone to showing “unconditional love” for them; with adults, it may help to better understand others.

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Today’s quote: You control how your story goes.

English: David Brooks

English: David Brooks (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Among all the things we don’t control, we do have some control over our stories. We do have a conscious say in selecting the narrative we will use to make sense of the world. Individual responsibility is contained in the act of selecting and constantly revising the master narrative we tell about ourselves.
The stories we select help us, in turn, to interpret the world. They guide us to pay attention to certain things and ignore other things. They lead us to see certain things as sacred and other things as disgusting. They are the frameworks that shape our desires and goals. So while story selection may seem vague and intellectual, it’s actually very powerful. The most important power we have is the power to help select the lens through which we see reality.”
~ David Brooks, journalist, political and cultural commentator, (1961)

How would you describe the “lens” you are using to describe reality?

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