For the first half of the book--"Here I Am" by Jonathan Safran Foer--I wanted to put it down and start a new book. The characters made me mad. Sometimes I shouted at Jacob and Julia, "Would you just listen to each other and be kind to one another?" They didn't hear me.
Then I thought about some of the conference calls that my siblings and I have and I recognized how challenging it can be to really listen to one another and keep our mouths shut when it counts most. Why is this so hard? It's hard in work settings, but it can be especially difficult with our closest family members.
We have so much more at stake and so much more history with our partners, siblings, parents, and children. So how do we listen more and talk less? How do we listen to connect?
Here are some ways I am trying to practice. How do you listen from the heart?
- What might I hear/learn if I listen with an open heart?
- What's at stake for me/for others?
- What is most important in this conversation?
- Do I really need to be "right," or do I want to be in relationship?
In this "On Being" segment, Krista Tippett interviews the poet Mary Oliver in a segment entitled
Listening to the World