Wednesday, November 13, 2013

"Just Listen" by Anonymous

Recently, I posted my blog entry on what to do when your child comes home crying.  The most important point that I wanted to stress was the importance of listening to your child without giving immediate advice.

In just a few days, I have heard from several parents just how hard it is to do. I never said it would be easy!  Yet, my conversations with parents have reminded me of one of my favorite poems called "Just Listen".  I have never been able to find out who wrote it.  The most popular mention is that it was written by an anonymous homeless person.

In any case, I share this with you...not to make sitting in the sadness easier to do but perhaps to make it easier to understand.

Just Listen
When I ask you to listen to me                                           
and you start giving me advice,
you have not done what I asked.
When I ask you to listen to me
and you begin to tell me why
I shouldn’t feel that way,
you are trampling on my feelings.
When I ask you to listen to me
and you feel you have to do something
to solve my problem,
you have failed me,
strange as that may seem.
Listen! All I ask is that you listen.
Don’t talk or do – just hear me.
Advice is cheap; 20 cents will get
you both Dear Abby and Billy Graham
in the same newspaper.
And I can do for myself; I am not helpless.
Maybe discouraged and faltering,
but not helpless.
When you do something for me that I can
and need to do for myself,
you contribute to my fear and
But when you accept as a simple fact
that I feel what I feel,
no matter how irrational,
then I can stop trying to convince
you and get about this business
of understanding what’s behind
this irrational feeling.
And when that’s clear, the answers are
obvious and I don’t need advice.
Irrational feelings make sense when
we understand what’s behind them.
Perhaps that’s why prayer works, sometimes,
for some people – because God is mute,
and he doesn’t give advice or try
to fix things.
God just listens and lets you work
it out for yourself.
So please listen, and just hear me.
And if you want to talk, wait a minute
for your turn – and I will listen to you.
Author Unknown

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