There's a great proverb of Solomon that says, "A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent person overlooks an insult." As I was reading about being quick to listen and slow to speak this proverb seemed to go hand-in-hand. Why is it that for so many of us, me included, the natural tendency is to show our annoyance and anger? Stress? Lack of sleep? Lack of self-discipline? It's the way we saw things handled growing up? Whatever the reason, we know it doesn't produce the results we're actually looking for. Sure, we may temporarily feel better by lashing out, but then we've got to do damage control. I don't know about you, but I've had to do some damage control over the 40+ years of my life and it never gets any easier. I'd like to avoid that path, how about you?
When I dig a little deeper into the proverb and being quick to listen and slow to speak it admonishes me to understand that by doing this I'm increasing empathy toward others. Empathy is good. I like when I receive empathy from others. It's reassuring, healing, even comforting. So why wouldn't I want to give more of that away? It's a daily choice. It's a choice I need to make in every relationship. I have a feeling the more I give it away, the more I am likely to receive.
This concept of being quick to listen and slow to speak is a big part of Step 2 in the Friendship Fixer program and will be a focus area for our second book (coming soon!). If we as adults sometimes struggle to offer more empathy in our relationships through listening, how must kids be handling this? I'm convicted and inspired to be a solid role model for them and to keep bringing these important messages to them in engaging and creative ways so they have the tools they need in their "backpack of life skills" for healthy relationships. Will you join me? Please feel free to share your thoughts.
Wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend, lover of dark chocolate and books, the beach, healthy living, meaningful education, and of course, friendship.