January 24, 2015

Escuchame Por Favor.

For those of you (like me) who are not fluent in Spanish, my title means “listen to me please”. I am NOT fluent in Spanish at all, but there are some little blurbs I pick up here and there from being around a lot of Spanish-speaking amigas and estudiantes. I don’t even know if that was correct grammar. My Spanish is awful, it couldn’t even be considered Spanglish it’s so bad. But I felt like it goes along with my ideas for today which have to do with listening.
Listening seems like it should be such an easy task for people. I mean you don’t have to really DO anything besides focus and open your ears; which might I add isn’t even physically something you have to do because your ears are already open, unless of course they are filled with ear wax then that’s a whole different problem. And a personal one at that….Ew. Sorry, but do you get what I’m saying? When you think about listening you’d think it should be something that just comes naturally to us.
But it doesn’t.
Example one: We ALL know kids that HATE to listen. If you haven’t ever come across one you’re in the minority, but those are particularly the kids I get to spend the most time with. Lucky me right? Anyways, it’s like you can’t say anything to them because every time you do it sounds like that old Charlie Brown cartoon when the lady is going “wahh wahh wahh” each time she opens her mouth. I swear that is what happens with some of the kids I talk to. They’re immediately interrupting me, already putting their two cents in before I even have a sentence out of my mouth. Real frustrating right?
Example two: People who are constantly on the defensive. Ever come across one of those? Especially adults. They are never wrong, and don’t take the time to let you say anything because in their head they already know what you’re going to say or what you mean and instead of listening they are formulating their response in their head. Because there’s no way you have anything worthwhile to say to them. And you’re like am I talking to a brick wall?!
I could list so many examples of people who don’t listen, but rather than do that I want to focus on the opposite side of this. Why should we all take a minute to listen?
I have found that listening is the BEST and sometimes most underused tool I have in my toolbox. When I sit and genuinely listen to my students’ problems and frustrations or even their successes, I don’t have to have all the answers. But I am spreading love by listening. And like I’ve referenced before, my mission in counseling is to spread love to those who might not experience it anywhere else. If I don’t take the time to listen to my kiddos, who will? I would say their parents, but not all of them have that luxury.
This goes for adults too. Maybe if we all take the time to sit and listen to what’s going on with our significant other, family, co-workers, friends, etc. we wouldn’t run into half the issues we have all experienced up to this point. Myself included. But if we pay attention to the little things, keep our ears truly open (and wax free), and take the time to listen to others it would not only help them, it would help us in return.
Learn to listen. Your life will be better for it. I promise. And if it’s not let me know and I will throw my whole theory in the garbage for you.
Oh and I would like to end with the fact that I am always drawn to the book of James in the bible. For some reason James always comes through when I need him to. Today is no exception.
James 1:19 “let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.”
Adios my amigos.

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