Never seem wiser, nor more learnt, than the people you are with. Wear your learning, like your watch, in a private pocket: and do not merely pull it out and strike it; merely to show that you have one. You must continue to learn more and more and deposit the knowledge gained in the same pocket. You will use it when an opportunity arises and you determine to Accomplish Your Dreams. It seems that we learn lessons when we least expect them but always when we need them the most, and, the true gift in these lessons always lies in the learning process itself.
One day I was lying on the bed, reading, when my mother came into the room. She held out a vase–a rather ugly vase. She asked, ‘Would you like to have this vase?’ “I replied quickly, ‘No, I do not want it.’ As she turned to walk away, I picked up something that said to me, ‘Wait a minute, do not shut this off yet.’ So I asked, ‘Where did you get it?’ She said, ‘Oh, I got it when I filled an order.’ Filled an order? I thought—no communication here. So, I asked, ‘What do you mean, filled an order?’ ‘Well,’ she said, ‘when I was a little girl, the Smith Company mailed catalogs to people. I would take the catalog around the neighborhood, and I was to get people to order from it. When I filled an order and sent it in, they gave me a prize. One time, I got a porch swing for my family. “Now you have to understand,” said Hensley, “that my mother is 81 years old. She is one of six children in a family that her father deserted when she was quite young. Money was real hard to come by. My grandmother managed to keep the family together through the years, although I do not know how. For my mother to win a luxury like a porch swing was a significant accomplishment. Although she no longer had the swing, she had the vase—a vase full of meaning–which she offered to me. Instantly I said, ‘Mom, I want the vase.’ Now it sits in a prominent place in my living room. It symbolizes a precious meaning which my mother and I share: Unless you and I are sensitive to the other person and hear meaning, we may well have a communication problem. Seek to be sensitive,” said Hensley, “seek to get inside of the other person’s frame of reference, seek to understand the meaning out of which that person receives and responds to your message, seek genuine interaction.
Live out of your imagination, not your history. Many of us grow up thinking of mistakes as bad, viewing errors as evidence of fundamental incapacity. This negative thinking pattern can create a self-fulfilling prophecy, which undermines the learning process. To maximize our learning it is essential to ask: “How can we get the most from every mistake we make? I have never been afraid to fail. Just note. I suspect that the most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention, especially if it’s given from the heart. When people are talking, there’s no need to do anything but receive them. Just take them in. Listen to what they’re saying. Care about it. Most times caring about it is even more important than understanding it. Most of us do not value ourselves or our love enough to know this. It has taken me along time to believe in the power of the simple saying, “I’m so sorry,” when someone is in pain. I am meaning it. One of my friends told me that when she tried to tell her story people often interrupted to tell her that they once had something just like that happen to them. Subtly her pain became a story about themselves. Eventually she stopped talking to most people. It was just too lonely. We connect through listening. When we interrupt what someone is saying to let them know that we understand, we move the focus of attention to ourselves. When we listen, they know we care. Many people with cancer can talk about the relief of having someone just listen. I have even learned to respond to someone crying by just listening. In the old days I used to reach for the tissues, until I realized that passing a person a tissue may be just another way to shut them down, to take them out of their experience of sadness and grief. Now I just listen. When they have cried all they need to cry, they find me there with them.
This simple thing has not been that easy to learn. It certainly went against everything I had been taught since I was very young. I thought people listened only because they were too timid to speak or did not know the answer. A loving silence often has far more power to heal and to connect than the most well intentioned words.
Be Happy – Try to listen first then you say. You can make other understand your intention and you can Accomplish Your Dreams.