Did you ever go to a memorial service and hear them tell stories about the deceased and think to yourself, I didn’t know that. I remember one of my first clients that passed away. All I really knew about Nieva was that she was a retired schoolteacher. At her memorial service, I learned that she had extensively traveled the world. She would spend time every summer exploring the capitals of the world. Don’t you know she had some stories to tell? If only I had been listening. I have been to services where I thought I knew the person very well and learned I really did not know them very well at all. I guess I was talking when I should have been listening.
Nieva taught me a very valuable lesson. The lesson she taught me was that everyone has a story to tell if you are listening. I wish I could say that I have become a great listener, but I continue to struggle in this area. My mouth seems to get in the way of my ears. It’s an area that I continue to work on. I would much rather be known as a good listener than to be known as a good talker. When you truly listen to a person you make them feel valued. We have some amazing senior citizens with truly wonderful stories to share. I hope you are adding value to their lives and to yours by listening. I challenge you in the next week to pick one senior citizen and get them to talk and practice your listening.
So I have two questions for you.
1. Are you listening?
2. What are you hearing?
I would love to listen while you share with me some of the stories you are hearing from the greatest generation.
Grace Care, Enid, OK