30 Day Writing Challenge
Write about a goal.
This year my goal is to be a better listener.
When I think about listening, I remember three things.
1. A story told by Boyd K. Packer told in his October 1979 General Conference talk:
"Many years ago John Burroughs, a naturalist, one summer evening was walking through a crowded park. Above the sounds of city life he heard the song of a bird.
"He stopped and listened! Those with him had not heard it. He looked around. No one else had noticed it.
"It bothered him that everyone should miss something so beautiful.
"He took a coin from his pocket and flipped it into the air. It struck the pavement with a ring, no louder than the song of the bird. Everyone turned; they could hear that!
"It is difficult to separate from all the sounds of city traffic the song of a bird. But you can hear it. You can hear it plainly if you train yourself to listen for it . . . It is difficult to separate from the confusion of life that quiet voice of inspiration. Unless you attune yourself, you will miss it."
That I heard the prompting to choose this as a goal this year gives me hope. It also let me know I need to improve. (D&C 19:23 Learn of me, and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me.)
2. The Chinese symbol for attentive listening:
I use this symbol to teach youth to become better listeners. It really does take more than ears to hear and I need to focus better on the speaker.
3. The anonymous quote: "There is a good reason God gave us two ears and only one mouth." This reminds me I need to listen without trying to formulate a reply as I do.
Each month I will focus on better listening to different people, or to better listen in different situations. For example, in January I am focusing on listening to Calvin better. Oh. my. I did not know what I had not been hearing. This may actually take 2 months to gain some proficiency.
Other months will include listening to:
Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost
I can't wait to hear what I've been missing.