Friday, April 11, 2014

Just Listen (#atozchallenge)

You're a great friend, a great person. You've acquired so much wisdom through experience; sharing it with the people you care about is only fair. It's your duty, even. It's the greatest gift you can give. Right?

Wrong.

As hard as this might be for you to swallow, the rest of the world will survive without your intervention. They're doing pretty okay so far.

In fact, being 100% honest, who follows advice? No, what we need is the leeway to figure things out on our own. Nothing can be taught. (Ne c'est-ce pas, Beloo?)

You do have a magnificent gift to give, though. We all do.

It's the gift of listening. And listening not with the intent to reply, but with the intent to understand. (Yes, #5 of Stephen Covey's 7 Habits. So shoot me. The man has a point.)

I've often wished my dogs could speak. What goes on in their heads? How do they understand life? (Most frustratingly, where does it hurt?) But I think if they could speak, they wouldn't--not nearly as much as we do (except for that where does it hurt).

Because, see, dogs have mastered the art of listening. They listen without impatience; they're not waiting for us to finish speaking so they can put in their "two cents", show off their witty repartee, contradict us with brilliant sources and resources. They might walk away if our BS gets too thick--and if a dog walks away from your BS, it's pretty thick.

For a dog, listening is only about understanding.


Do like a dog. Give the people you care about that greatest of gifts. Just listen.

Thanks for stopping by, and happy A-to-Z-ing!

20 comments :

  1. More wonderful lessons from dogs! When taking the time to listen, even to quiet or "nothing," you'll be surprised what you actually hear...

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    1. Exactly! Thanks for pitching in, Bethany--of course you get it, you have your wonderful threesome to keep you on the right track :)

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  2. Great post! (Especially for me at the moment as I have a "friend" who keeps offering unsolicited advice. Just listening would be enough, thanks!) :0)

    Thanks for stopping by Pooch Smooches! Love your blog header! Gorgeous!

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    1. Thank you, Jackie! Ugh, I know people like that. The intention is good, but that doesn't really help, does it? :D

      *Love* your blog!

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  3. That's why we have two ears but only one mouth, as the saying goes...We can all learn many lessons from our furry friends. Gail, visiting from the A-Z Blog hop

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    1. Can you believe I'd never heard that saying? I love it! Thanks for sharing :)

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  4. Listen and watch. I know my dogs body language sooooo well.

    I think your blog is going to among my most favorite finds! :-)

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    1. Susan, thank you so much! Your blog is going on my favorites from A-to-Z this year, too :) And yeah, body language is everything when it comes to dogs--and when it doesn't, too ;) Thanks for the visit!

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  5. Listen is something we should do double the times we speak. But that is the least we do.

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  6. Very good point (especially the listening not to reply and the lovely link back to Beloo). Learning a new language helped me get better at listening... and my dog - :)

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    1. Ida, YES! Learning another language, living in a place where no one speaks *your* language, is a great situation for learning to listen. Great point!

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  7. I love your blog! I'm going to read this out loud to my wonderful beasts. Happy A to Z challenge!
    http://www.shelaghmcnally.com/2014/04/jj-potcakes-canine-advice.html

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    1. Thank you, Shelagh! And I *love* your name! Off to check out your blog :)

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  8. Great post and I agree with you about the dogs. I enjoyed seeing the ones you posted as the black and white one looked just like my Sandi.

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    1. Thanks, Glenda! The black-and-white one is Lisa; she's a rescue currently living with a foster that I help out with, so I get to see her three times a week. She's super sweet, totally adorable :)

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  9. Hi Guilie,

    Thanks for viewing my blog and leaving a comment :)

    I must admit, this is a constant struggle for me: listening.

    For so long, circumstances have always put me in the position of the "go-to" person for advice. I find myself doing a lot of talking. More often than not, the person relying on me is blocked; cannot express himself so I feel I need to talk to facilitate his train of thoughts, get him to speak, and for me to understand his real dilemma.

    Most of the time though, I wish they would come to me and freely express their dilemma and I can just LISTEN. Facilitating by nudging the other person to open up is emotionally and physically exhausting. I know they approach me for my "two cents" but in as much as I want to be able to share my thoughts, I wish to get into the bottom of their problem first. Still, I am grateful that I was given this chance to be a "go to" person for advice. It requires a lot of strength and often I find myself weak but in the end, I had to remain steadfast so I can sail through the storm with the friend who came to me for help. Sometimes I feel though that this process has made my feelings dense, which makes me sad :( Anyways...

    On another note, my hobby of postcards exchange -- it's nice to get something, a medium where people openly share and I don't have to dig deep within me for a sensible response. It's like listening to them by reading what they wrote and it is calming. Coming back from work, I find my postcards which arrived during the day and I read them while sipping tea. My three years of postcard exchange never failed to amuse me with a simple note at the back of a postcard, even if the photo is crappy sometimes :p

    If you really want to get into the hobby, check out postcrossing.com I can also send you a postcard if you share with me your address, write to me at avi_resha@yahoo.com .

    Cheers,
    Maria

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  10. It's art worth while cultivating - that of listening. 'There is a voice that doesn't use words - Listen!' - Rumi. You're spot on re: advice - if one takes the other's advice and if things don't turn out, then the person who USED that advice can blame the advice giver.
    Silence - a sound of its own ... and a powerful one!
    Thank you Guilie!
    Garden of Eden Blog

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