Learn to Listen

Jeralyn, a friend of mine, brought energy into a room whenever she entered. She focused her entire attention while you were talking and you felt that you are important than you had before she started listening. And that's why people love her.

One sunny afternoon, Jeralyn and I are sitting on a bench at the park. I was looking at somewhere when I noticed one of my neighbors crossing the parking lot.

"I don't want to run into her," I said.
"Why not?" Jeralyn asked.

I explained to her that during our first encounter, we parted on bad terms-I had taken offense at some suggestion she made in the neighborhood and had, in turn, given offense in my answer. "Besides," I added, " the woman does not like me."

Jeralyn looked at the passing figure. "Maybe, you got it wrong," she said. "Maybe you are the one who is turning away-and you are just doing that because you're afraid. She probably thinks you don't like her, so she's not friendly. People liked people who liked them.If you show an interest in her, she'll be interested in you too. Go talk to her."

Her words stung. I walked towards her. I greeted my neighbor, and asked how her summer had been. She looked at me, genuinely surprised. We walked off together talking, and I could imagine Jeralyn watching us, smiling broadly.

Jeralyn had explained to me a simple concept. Like most teenagers, I felt unsure of myself and came to all my encounters fearing that others would judge me, when in fact they were worrying about how would I judge them.

How often we allow such opportunities to pass us by. The girl who everyone thinks who is homely, the boy with the odd clothes-those people have stories to tell, as surely as you do. And like you, they dreamed that someone is willing to hear.

This is what Jeralyn wanted to teach me.Like people first, ask questions later. See if the light you shine on others is not reflected back on you a hundredfold.

One thing I learned, "Learn to Listen so others woud listen you".


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