Ainsley was watching a new show on PBS this morning, Pinkalicious or something. I was sweeping and catching little pieces of the episode. The little brother kept making noise and being hushed by his family. When he finally got them to listen, they realized he was actually making music. His dad told him, “I’m sorry Peter, sometimes even grownups get busy and forget to listen.” Whoa. How many of us are guilty of that? How many times do people cry out for help and all we hear is noise?
Like the toddler kicking and screaming. We know they’re trying to say something but we get frustrated and only see it as them throwing a fit about what seems like anything and everything. What if instead of screaming at them to “just be quiet!” we met them with calm. What if we listened?
Or when our kid asks us the millionth question. They want us to watch them sing, dance, show us something they made. What if instead of telling them “in a minute” we stopped what we were doing and gave them a few minutes of undivided attention. What if we listened?
Or the mother of young children who doesn’t seem herself. She brushes it off as being tired. What if instead of just saying “I bet” we brought her a coffee. We made her family dinner. We came and took her kids for a walk or just entertained them for a few minutes to give her brain a break. What if we listened?
Or the teenager who posts about cutting his wrists, on social media. He shares photos of dead animals. He makes jokes of killing people. What if instead of ignoring him and just writing him off as crazy, we got uncomfortable and really tried to find a way to connect him with counseling/treatment. What if we listened?
Obviously the problems of the world, require much more. But I just wonder what would happen. What if we listened?
It would at least be a start.