Life is hard…we all know it.  We all live it every day.  If your life is not what you want it to be then it is up to YOU to change it.  Right???  I think so.  Yes, we all need help from time to time, but no one is really going to do the nitty gritty hard work but yourself.  

Life is unfair too.  We learn that from the very beginning.  I always hear parents telling their children to play fair (I do it myself), but then I think…well, there are no promises that everyone is going to be “fair.”  You have to learn to stick up for yourself at some point too.  Teaching that to youngsters is a whole other ball game.  As adults we know in our heads that “unfair” things happen ALL the time.  People we love get sick, people we love leave, jobs change, friends change, LIFE changes…every day.  Sometimes, what we know in our heads doesn’t always match what is in our hearts…that is difficult.

How do we help someone we love, when they don’t seem to want the help, or they don’t seem to think they need help?  It’s so darn hard to sit back and watch someone make the same mistake over and over.  I know at some point, we have to just offer a listening ear and let the rest fall into place.  The outcome may not be the way we hoped, but again we cannot change other people.  I need to practice listening without talking. 

Have any of ya’ll ever read The Listening Walk by Paul Showers.  It’s a great story that I used to read to my students when I taught.  It’s about a little girl who enjoys taking walks with her father and their family dog.  Neither the little girl nor her father talks on the walk.  They just listen.  They listen to all the beautiful sounds around them and they take it all in.  

 What a great thing to do and to teach your children.  I think we all need to take “listening walks” every day.  We need to just stop and listen to what is around us.  We need to listen to our loved ones without offering advice…just listen and take it all in.  Then, we need to know in our hearts and in our minds that whatever happens will be up to them.  We did our job.  We listened and that is all we needed to do.

"Silent" and "listen" are spelled with the same letters.  ~Author Unknown

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