Little acts of kindness can seem insignificant, yet they have such great impact. Especially kindness as it relates to words – spoken as well as heard.
Last week my friends with SaySomething Show (our video podcast) got together to do both. We know it’s hard to navigate today’s challenges. But as friends, why not try? Do it together.
So, Julie Hildebrand, Brenda Teele and Erin Schreyer and I sat on our back porch and chatted about loving neighbors in challenging climates like today’s racial tension and Covid-19 fears. (chat below) And we dialed in Brenda’s sister Lisa who lives in Las Vegas where she has served in a civilian capacity at the LVMPD.
Lisa pointed us toward perspective, courage and inclusion. Where can we land on hope and how do we genuinely come alongside each other with encouraging words? We lean into and learn from conversation that is far from perfect or from solving all the problems to listen, learn and do our best to take action. Action based on compassion and kindness that comes from humble listening that invites learning.
When I was younger, my grandmother would tell us, in her slow Texas drawl, “There’s a reason we have 2 ears and 1 tongue,” usually punctuated by a little nod and glance over her glasses as a soap opera blared from the television in her kitchen. I can do better. I’m trying.
It seems listening is a very special act of kindness. Listening signals that someone is worth hearing, that what they have to say matters. Listening (seemingly simple, yet often challenging) invites life into a conversation, even when the topic is tough. Listening lifts up rather than beat down. Listening “sees” a person as a human being.
The simple act of listening to a person recognizes their significance & worth. Listening can be hard, especially in times of change or uncertainty, when people feel compelled to prove points rather discuss. Listening leads to participation in life with others, some who just need to know they matter.
Listening as an act of kindness invites all involved to feel a little better – as they’ve been heard. Maybe because listening returns people to center stage rather than let circumstances, situations or perceptions boss the show. Listening invites learning (not always agreement) and opens door to relationship. Listening gathers information. And is polite. Maybe listening is almost always at hand, basically free and powerful – especially as a reminder that people matter.
Just a thought. Thanks for listening. You’re very kind.
And thanks for walking the road with me.
Our chat – topped off by a promise “to be continued …” :)