There is value in listening and also in being heard...
I believe that most of us desire to tell our stories, and we want them to be received with an open and compassionate heart.
On the way to Selma 50th, we were on a two lane road, and the traffic was barely moving. I rolled down the window to ask, Patricia Robinson, how much farther did we need to go to get to our destination? I remember her name, because I have a sister whose name is also Patricia Robinson.
Patricia was talking on her cell phone, and when I asked the question, she hung up her phone and gave us her undivided attention. She answered our question, and we continued to have a conversation.
We learned that Patricia "wishes that there were more opportunities in Selma for the young people, her house was built by Habitat for Humanity, she lost her son in a tracker trailer accident, and if it was not for her Selma community, she thinks that she would have lost her mind." In that five minute conversation, it was apparent that Patricia loves Selma and needed to be heard.
Since that short encounter, I have thought about Patricia a lot: her smile, her kindness, her joy, her pleasantness, her resilience. I have also thought a lot about the human need to be heard and understood.
Not sure about you, but I love to hear people's stories. I love trying to understand what makes people who they are, and I think that is one of the many reasons why I love to read; books are one way for writers and readers to try and understand people and human nature.
When I hear people's stories, I am always struck by the things that people are going through or have gone through, yet they are still standing and even smiling most of the time. I also think that people, hearing themselves tell their own stories, reminds them of their own strength and courage.
I have been practicing listening, hearing, and telling, because I know that there is value in listening, hearing, and telling stories.
If you get a moment, consider listening to someone's story!
If you don't stop talking; I won't stop listening.....
Happy Easter Eve; JESUS IS ALIVE!!!