|Photo by vagawi|
How many of you watched tonight's State of the Union Address?
I did. Unfortunately, it was a little too late for my young children to stay up for - especially after an exciting day that included a field trip. But had they been a little bit older, I would have encouraged them to stay up late and watch.
Why? Because I am a firm believer in listening. Doesn't matter if you agree with the person speaking or not. How will you know if you agree or disagree with someone if you don't stop to listen? They might surprise you. You might find you have more in common than you thought. Or they may simply strengthen your convictions. You might find that you misunderstood them the first time - or that they misunderstood you!
Either way, communication is an invaluable tool in our society. Without it, we are lost.
This is something I want to teach my children. It is great to talk and stand up for what you believe in. (My kids don't have any trouble in this area.) But it is even more important to listen. We can learn so much in doing so. Listening can help us avoid misunderstandings. It can teach us something we didn't know. And if you listen right, you'll hear what isn't said.
Do you spend time teaching your children or students to listen?