Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wednesday's Wisdom

In high school, I had a teacher who wasn't so sweet. I was quite shy and struggling to find out who I was and where I was headed in life. One day, the teacher asked me to do something during class and when I understood what it was that she wanted me to do, I began to move in that direction to accomplish the task. The problem was that she was still talking.

She erupted in a verbal mess all over me. She told me (and all the other stunned students) that I was immature, that I was disrespectful, that I was arrogant to think that I knew what she was saying before she had even finished talking. She humiliated me that day.

In the ensuing years though, I've come to understand what she was saying.

  • How many times have I been speaking only to have someone else rush in and finish my sentence?
  • How many times have I been in the middle of asking a question only to have someone cut me off with their answer?
  • And how many times have I wanted to share my own experience only to have someone else follow-up with, "But MY experience was so much worse than yours!"

I'm tired of it happening to me. I'm tired of doing it others.

Every year I adopt a mantra. My motto for 2009 is, "Just listen."

Although it was inarticulate in delivery and poorly timed in choice, I suppose that really is what that teacher was trying to say all those years ago.

19 comments:

Sue said...

Listening is good and hard to do. That teacher really should have explained it to you in a much nicer, less humiliating way.

Lady Christie said...

Teachers can sometimes teach good lessons but sometimes in the wrong way.

Jeannelle said...

Rest easy....I have no experience to contribute that was worse. Somehow we learn through the trials and discomfort, though. You're a better person/teacher for it.

ladyfi said...

What a shame that she tried to teach you something valuable in such an AWFUL way!

Checkered said...

...................................I see...........................oh...........................(this is me, listening).
I love you!

Pleasing Procrasinator said...

A skill I too truly need to work on.
Even though lesson learned very inappropriate, sorry you had to experience that.

Pancake said...

Sorry to had to learn that lesson that way....

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

Listening can be a hard thing to do. You are not alone in this department.

Busy Bee Suz said...

You are so right about this. I TRY to be a good listener..but I am sure I fail too.
I DO believe it is more important to be a good listener than a talker....I will try too.

Kelli Nørgaard said...

sometimes I want to slap teachers... even if their message is right, their methods suck!

But I love the new background!!

Mental P Mama said...

I have decided that listening is a finely honed talent.

jojo said...

I don't think humiliating someone is ever a good plan. I've never understood that 'style' of parenting/teaching. It certainly did nothing helpful to me...even all these years later, I still feel humiliated.

Debbie said...

First, thank you for visiting! 2nd...I absolutely LOVE your blog design. Being a Nascar fan and all from down here in NC :)

I've always been a good listener, but I am so tired of no one listening to me when I finally break in to say something! Argggg. Good post :)

Louise said...

You are right. One of the most important lessons in life is to learn to speak mindfully. So much hurt is done when one speaks without thinking. But it is very hard to stop the words tumbling out of one's mouth sometimes. Very hard. Perhaps the only thing that's as hard is halting the flow of our own thoughts, experiences and impressions in order to leave a little bit of space for someone else. Nice post.

Laura ~Peach~ said...

listening is hard sometimes but I try to practice...I got a hundai entourage... it had 30 miles on it when we got in this morning has 70 now LOL...

Living on the Spit said...

First off, I never pegged you for quiet and shy...that REALLY surprised me.

Secondly, I completely understand, but I took the alternate route which does come across as cold and mean. I have enough going on in my own head to sit through a long, drawn out synopis that I can break down, summarize, and answer in half the time it would take someone to finish their sentence. I am not thrilled that I do this, but other people need to accept me for this trait, at least half the time I am held hostage in listening to them get their words out of their mouth.

I am so sorry this sounds SOOOOO hostile...not towards you or anyone else...I have just had the worse day ever being FORCED to listen to people speak to me and I had to smile and LISTEN...

AARRGGHHHH!

My Metabolic Rate is Stuck said...

I need to Practice on that too!
Sorry you were embarrassed! The teacher should have done/said it more discreetly!

Alexis AKA MOM said...

Sad it takes us sometime to see waht adults or figures in our life are meaning. It would have been better and nicer to pull you aside. Listen I think I need to teadh the boys that one. I've been on them over and over, I think I said it to Cole like 7 times in the last hour! UGH ... LOL

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog ;).

Alexis AKA MOM said...

P.S. I'm pretending the teen years don't exsist, so no chance things will be under there bed ... LOL