Sunday, November 30, 2008

The other day I read an article by Dave Isay in the Boston Globe entitled "Taking The Time To Listen." He is the founder of StoryCorps, which facilitates interviews between loved ones and has evolved into the largest oral history project ever undertaken.

To this end he declared the day after Thanksgiving to be the inaugural National Day of Listening. He's asked Americans to set aside time, after turkey day, to do an interview with someone they care about.

He says, "Look your loved one in the eye. Just turn off your Blackberry and maybe don't shop for an hour."

This is one of the questions he was asked, "What is the value of telling stories?"

StoryCorps is about listening, and the act of listening honors another person. In difficult times people start to feel desparate and it's good to remind people that they matter.
This article got me thinking about "Listening" on many levels.

I remember when Steve was in college he had an assignment to interview a close family member. He chose to interview my father. Steve spent an afternoon asking his grandfather many questions, and my father who was not a big talker, spoke at length about important events in his life that I never knew about. He never told me!!

At the end of the interview my father said to Steve, "you listen."

Have you had this experience - when you are with a group of people, trying to make a point, someone cuts you off, you have more to say but they can't wait to add their two cents so you don't have the chance to complete your thought!

Or, you still have something more you want to add to the conversation and they change the subject!! Apparently they don't realize what they are doing or just don't care. Maybe these people are alone a lot and when they get someone who listens, they just don't let go.

Finally, Blogging is important to me because I get to complete my thought, no one interrupts me and I get feedback.

I don't even mind lurkers! ;-)

I think it's important to listen, too.

My son had to do a project like that in junior high. He interviewed my mother and my father in law and did a comparison of country life and city life during the Depression. It was really interesting. His teacher was impressed.
My Grandma passed away on the 5th November and I went and did jigsaw puzzles with my Grandad two weeks ago - He told stories about my Grandma and how they met, the puzzles he used to do with his Dad and Grandad, the fact that he half expected Grandma to walk in at any minute and tell him to pack up the puzzle cos it was tea time.

It was sad because she's gone but in another way it was good to hear him tell the stories.
I have to be better at practicing listening as both my husband and I love to talk and probably do not listen as well as we should. This is a good reminded for both of us. I have attended work seminars where listening was one of the exercises we did.
I am more of a listener than a talker.
Maybe that is why I enjoy blogging so much, I get to *listen* to so many people from around the blogosphere.

Bear((( )))
I wished that I had listened to my grandparents more. As I don't want to say the same thing when my own parents go, I am trying to listen more. I had a great discussion with my dad about the great depression.
My father always said there was a reason God gave us 2 ears and only one mouth.

I love sitting with older ppl and listening to them. It's free information!!!
I love blogging for that reason, too, Millie. No one ever tells me to shut up!! LOL
Hi Millie, You made me aware that I am guilty of being an INTERUPTER! I think because I don't want to forget what I want to say. I loose my thought very easily. I am going to work at the Art of Listening and pay closer attention and try to remember... what I have to say is not so important.

Hope I improve since it is actually not listen.
Thank You!
My regret also is not listening closer to my Grandmother because at 73 I have trouble remembering some very important things she talked about.

You know I don't even know if what I talk about is even worth the trouble for my kids and grand kids to think about.
True listening to another is so critical at any age. Being listened to and understanding others can be a challenge for those experiencing or living with someone who is hard of hearing, whether or not they have hearing aids. Patience must often be exercised. We all need to be heard and not just given someone's partial attention, or ignored. Another great topic, Millie.
I'm with you Millie. There are lots of time when you can't tell a story to the end, because no one's listening. I wish I took more time writing on my blogs, though.

Do you, by any chance, happen to know who Secret Dubai (the blogger: is?
Hi Millie,
I am guilty of being a lurker for the past few years! I so enjoy your blog as it brings me so many memories of having grown up back East. People really do need to take time and listen. Thanks for your wonderful words!
listen before talk is a very important for me
its important to listen before speak, so we get a better idea what to say.
Great post!!! I think it is important to listen too. I try to be a good listener. It annoys me when someone interrupts me when I try to speak. I think its a great idea to have a National Day of Listening.
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