Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Thoughts on listening, understanding & more, plus a poem April 25, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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I’LL BE THE FIRST to admit that I am not bold. I am not a risk taker. I dislike change.

But to read this poem I crafted with magnetic word tiles and posted on my fridge, you might think I am a bold risk taker. Not all of us are. Not all of us can be. And that’s alright. We each hold value in who we are. This poem simply expresses my creativity.

I don’t pretend to be someone I am not. Call me authentic. I like that word.

I am not loud, but I will speak up when necessary. Sometimes the quietest voices are louder than the loudest.

I value listening more than talking. Too many people like the sound of their own voices. We should all strive to listen better. It seems a mostly lost art.

When we listen, compassion and understanding happen. When we place ourselves in the shoes of someone struggling with challenges, we begin to understand. Begin to understand how words and actions can hurt. Or heal.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of judging, of thinking we have all the answers, that everything in life is black-and-white. It isn’t.

Life is a mix of colors. Some days vibrant. Other days muddied. But it is a life we are in together. If only we recognize that and try harder to care for one another. With ongoing understanding, love and compassion.


© Copyright 2019 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


14 Responses to “Thoughts on listening, understanding & more, plus a poem”

  1. Claudette Says:

    Listening is an art, isn’t it. 😉

    Trying to teach my teen this lesson. 🙂

  2. Well said my friend – “Life is a mix of colors.” 🙂 I have been practicing to improve my active listening skills. It has helped me in many ways, especially at work in having to think fast on my feet while retaining abc, xyz. I am no longer apologizing for carrying a pen and notepad with me. I find it helps me be more efficient and productive. However, I still struggle in regards to saying or doing right and wrong with certain people. That being sensitive, but how sensitive can one be. Sometimes we need a hard truth, reality check, constructive feedback, etc. I know for me that was part of growing up and learning to be a bigger person or like MomCraves would say “Act like a duck and let it roll off your back.”. We can agree to disagree, right. We all have something to add to this life we are living. A little kindness and compassion goes a long way in being able to understand others instead of just judging them in that first 5 seconds of meeting them. We all walk in our own shoes. You made me think today – thanks! Happy Day – Enjoy

  3. Gunny Says:

    Active listening requires more than one’s ears. It requires sight and observation of the individual talking. In texting, e-mailing or in letters, the words put forth carry more weight and spelling and sentence composition carry far more scrutiny. Youngsters, many who can not read cursive (they were not taught), print only and texting or e-mails aside from verbal communication is the only method they know.

    As our manners and sensitivity grow over the years, we older ones are heard less by the younger ones as many people do not catch everything that is communicated to them. Even in our older more sensitive persons, we then fully grasp that old saying grandma or grandpa passed on to us that rings out to us years latter.

    In communicating face-to-face, it helps a lot if we have paid attention to our grooming. Sometimes to much attention to detail detracts.

    In an interview for a job, the interviewer was keenly interest in my $50 sports coat cuffs. It detracted so much form the interview that the interview ended abruptly without explanation and I was ushered out.
    In an analysis of the interview by myself, I deemed the fake button holes I had sew on the cuffs of my inexpensive sport coat intimidated my interviewer. Why? Because such ornamentation is usually only found on very expensive men’s wear – like $500 sport coats.

    In a woman’s case, she wore a lot of expensive and flashy jewelry. This led to her home being robbed.

    In many cases, how we present ourselves may or may not be the truth or belie that who which we really are. In one case, a man on his way to an interview stopped to help a stranded motorist and helped change a tire. Removing his sport coat and tie he changed the tire. After looking at his watch he told the person he needed to get on his way as he had a job interview or call it a “wash”. The stranded motorist then asked for some details as he was headed in that direction. Needless to say, the good Samaritan was hired because he unknowingly changed the tire for the hiring manager. One never knows.

    In short, don’t judge a book by its cover.

  4. Good listeners are needed! Nice post, Audrey.

  5. Well said my friend, I tend to be more of a listener, especially when in groups. You never know what someone might be going through, a listening ear may be the most important thing you do all day. I once heard it said that Listening is one of the loudest forms of kindness.

  6. Bella Says:

    I like this sentence life is a mix of color. Had never thought about it that way and your last few sentences of the post made some valid points. We certainly need more love and compassion in this world And I will add tolerance for differences.

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