Posted on Thursday, March 6, 2014 in Uncategorized
Last night I sat with a group of men, young and old; a forty-year spread among them. Teens, college students and, as I like to call them, “grownups” sat together.
I told them the story of “my crossroad.” I then asked them, “When was a time when things didn’t work out the way wanted them to?”
After a moment, one brave guy replied, “When I went to college. It was much different than high school. All my friends were gone.” Another guy listened, and added, “My first day as a teacher I almost threw up. Literally I almost threw up. I was so anxious.”
As each man unfolded some of their story common patterns unfolded. While they turned the pages of their story connections were build.
It’s a web of inter-connectedness I see every week among our teens at TreeHouse.
I added, “I’ll never be a thirteen year old pregnant girl.” They all laughed, “but I know how she feels. Our circumstances may be vastly different but the fact that we share the same feelings is incredibly valuable.”
Inter-connected communication is a rich blessing that requires time. Robert Bolton explains, “Although interpersonal communication is humanity’s greatest accomplishment, the average person does not communicate well.” It takes time.
We tend to speak on very superficial levels, until we stop to care, listen, and listen more.
Take time to listen to people in pain,
Take time to listen despite our discomfort.
Take time to listen patiently.
Time to listen is not time many men choose to invest in. It takes time from “more important things,” I heard a man say.
Listening, learning to communicate well, is among the most important things we can do.
Listening is essential to our emotional health, our spiritual health, our communities’ health, our businesses’ and our churches’ health. Robert Bolton explains, “Low-level communication leads to loneliness and distance from friends, lovers, spouses, and children — as well as ineffectiveness at work.” 1
“Listening is NOT a waste of time!” is mysilentscream.
1 – From Robert Bolton’s book People Skills