If you run, walk or drive through any city, you’re bound to see vivid colors and paintings on bridges, buildings, train-cars, etc.
I remember getting upset when I saw graffiti. It was such a disturbance to what was once a pretty structure – well, maybe not the train cars. Vandals and gangsters are the labels we’ve given there destructive expressionists!
However, since working with inner-city kids and having kids of my own, I realize that too often I’m the one to blame.
Came home a couple months back and Nikki greeted me at the door with a huge hug and said, “Daddy, I drew this story, wanna hear it?”
“Sweetheart, give me a second to put my things up, and I’ll listen to the story you wrote,” was my response. I was about to close my eyes to sleep that night when a wave of guilt rushed over me as I realized I’d forgotten.
Redemption happened the very next moment we had together; but, the thought of the times I haven’t taken the time to listen remains a wrench in my gut.
Maybe we’ve allowed life to get too busy with everything else beside scooping up a loved one to do NOTHING but listen. Ask questions about how they’re doing, feeling, what they’re thinking about, etc.
Imagine the difference in these vandals and gangsters pasts should some leader have taken the time to listen. Listening is caring. Listening is powerful!
We’ve heard the saying that we have two ears for a reason. Take it from someone who enjoys speaking, the most powerful words are the ones you hear – not speak!