Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Ask like you care & other thoughts January 20, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
Tags: , , , ,
Sidewalk poetry in downtown Northfield, Minnesota, carries a powerful message. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo 2014.

POSSIBILITIES. Hope. Healing. Peace.

Those words frame my thoughts this Wednesday morning. Words that need, and I fully expect, to be followed by positive actions.

Photographed at LARK Toys, Kellogg, MN. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

We hold within our nation, and within ourselves, the ability to reclaim that which we’ve seemingly lost—decency, kindness, empathy…

A year ago, I stuck four word magnets onto my refrigerator door to create this phrase: ask like you care. The directive reminds me to listen, really listen. The directive reminds to to react with empathy when I ask others, “How are you?” The directive reminds me that, if I don’t really care about the answer, then I shouldn’t ask the question.

I’m big on listening, which differs vastly from hearing. The act of hearing is simply sound reaching our ears. Listening focuses on the message, the person. It’s an art, a skill, and not all that difficult to practice. Listening inspires conversation. Listening builds and strengthens relationships. It places the focus on others, not ourselves.

Encouraging words posted near a pocket garden in the heart of downtown Faribault. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

Today, on this Wednesday morning, I hold hope for the possibilities of healing, peace and so much more.

© Copyright 2021 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


12 Responses to “Ask like you care & other thoughts”

  1. Audrey, did I miss sending you and yours a wonderful Happy New Year??!

  2. Lovely thoughts and sentiments, Audrey. The world needs more people in it like you. ❤

  3. valeriebollinger Says:

    Ask like you care…I like that…and haven’t heard that before.

  4. Kathleen Cassen Mickelson Says:

    That’s a wonderful phrase to have on your fridge – “ask like you care”! At first I thought it was a typo (act like you care!) and then I understood. Thanks for that. Happy Inauguration Day.

  5. I didn’t get to your blog yesterday as I was intently listening and watching a new era in Washington DC arrive. The importance of listening is huge as if we don’t listen, how can we have empathy?
    Stay safe.

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