Well, I sm typing leftie because I broke my right clavicle when the gravel got me coming down a small slope. Ouch. Fortunately, shoulder's fine and I was able to walk. Pain is minimal - I'll take a broken bone over soft tissue injury any day. But I am taking it easy for a week or two, let the healing begin.
top of page
As writers, we listen to understand - whether it's an interview for an article or just eavesdropping on an interesting conversation that may be fodder for fiction, the goal is always to understand the person and their situation.
About thirty years ago, my brother divorced the family. A couple of years ago, we sat down and talked for eleven hours and mended our relationship. He said he'd had to get away from family for his health - he'd always had high blood pressure and family made it worse. Given my experience of our family, I found this believable as a reason.
We listened to each other and ended on good terms.
His relationship with our father was particularly acrimonious - they're both gone now, so there's no opportunity to mend things. Unfortunately, their lack of communication led to misunderstandings and hurt feelings. Especially sad is that my nieces thought their grandfather didn't care about them, while he was hurt that their father wouldn't allow them to visit and that they didn't reach out when they got older. With good communication, none of that hurt would exist.
Which brings me to the country's situation. We've got angry people on both sides screaming their opinions and a great big quiet group in the middle crossing their fingers, hoping everything works out okay. We need productive, calm communication to avoid a world of hurt.
The first step is for each of us to speak up and ask questions when someone's view doesn't make sense to us - questions intended to help us understand. Then we need to actually listen to understand, rather than skip-listen for points to attack. If you do think they've missed something important, ask if they're aware of it.
Our family missed out on a lot by not listening to each other. I don't want to see our country make the same error.
This photo is from 2021. For the first time in thirty years, my brother and I spoke - for eleven hours. I am so glad we did, because he passed away this week and I'm left with good memories of that day.
He was born seven years after "the family" and I came along another seven years after that - so our siblings were grown up and out of the house before I started school. We didn't always have smiles for each other, but that eleven hours of talking covered a lot of ground and I'm left understanding him - and myself - better for it. I am most definitely thankful for having that time with him.
I am also thankful that my kids are planning extreme travel next week so we can all be together for about twenty-four hours, barring illness, travel, and work complications.
I'm linking three other posts - one a short story, another about my family, and OMG, which is another reason I give thanks - they all lived.
bottom of page