All posts tagged: Listening

W.A.I.T.

On New Year’s Day, I finally saw the delightful movie, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, starring Tom Hanks as the beloved children’s television star Fred Rogers. I waited until the last day this critically acclaimed film was showing at our local theatre because we wanted to go as an entire family and needed to align multiple schedules in our short window of opportunity over the holidays. Like millions of Americans, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood was a part of our children’s childhood, and it just seemed right to sit down together to take it in as if watching around the television set. There is much to like about this film, from the cast to the skillful direction of Marielle Heller, from the smart screenplay to the transitional shifts taking place between the toy set and the real life scenes of Rogers and journalist Lloyd Vogel (played expertly by Matthew Rhys). Vogel is, as one reviewer notes, “a magazine writer who actually may be the one person on the planet who doesn’t love Mr. Rogers.” Rhys’ character is based …

Stop Talking and Listen

Old habits can be very hard to break. Case in point: my difficulty in breaking out of the mold of being a stereotypical male. I’m reminded of this far too often and in many different ways. However, one of the more consistent occurrences involves listening. Or, to be more accurate, not listening. The stereotype is that men are encouraged, and even trained, to be the center of attention. It is a stereotype, in this case, because it is usually true. Studies show that boys are called on more in school, that boys grow up to become men who talk more in meetings, and that we interrupt women more than we interrupt men. Most of the time I fall into this pattern of interruption because I’m not thinking. But a few times I do it knowingly and with the best of intentions. That was the case earlier this year when I found myself talking over a friend to “help her” explain something that I thought might be difficult to articulate. Not because she isn’t a smart, …

Listening is an Act of Love

I’m not always a good listener.  But I know how important it is to listen.  So I felt a little better about my shortcomings when I heard David Isay, the founder of StoryCorps and the person who has said that “listening is an act of love,” confess that other than when interviewing people, he can be a really terrible listener.  He’s impatient. (I can relate).  Listening takes a lot of focus and energy, and all of us have our moments.  In the interview, it was noted that listening is not something that we do all the time. It’s work. It’s a commitment. But we want to make room for listening. And as David Isay said, “It’s something you never regret.” He also told a story that I want to pass along, in honor of Mother Theresa, who was recently named a saint by Pope Francis.  Isay said, “I don’t know if this is an apocryphal story or not, but there’s a story about Dan Rather interviewing Mother Theresa. And he asked her what she said …