Asphalt

“Mommy, what’s asshole?”

Or at least that’s what my mom’s friend thought she heard her three-year-old ask. Believing that age-appropropriate honesty is the best policy, she replied with a brief description of the literal meaning followed by ┬áthe fact that it’s used in a derogatory way. “You shouldn’t call people that,” she finished up, feeling satisfied with her response.

“Oh,” her son replied, looking puzzled. “Johnny said it was the stuff they put on the road.”

 

We hear what we expect to hear.

We see what we expect to see.

 

We reach conclusions before the end and we compose responses before we listen.

 

But you can change your approach. As with anything, practice makes better.

 

So, today, practice being curious.

See with your eyes rather than your assumptions.

Listen with your ears rather than your judgements.

Practice being comfortable with unfinished stories and responses unsaid.

 

Be inquisitive.

Be attentive.

Be receptive.

And be ready to be surprised.

Things are often not as we perceive them to be.

eyes

 

 

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4 responses to “Asphalt

  1. I will definitely do this today. I have to drive my father two hours for back surgery. I was goin into it thinking “oh my god. This is going to be the longest ride of my life.” He has a mess of issues after the Vietnam war and MANY people don’t see eye to eye with him on basic things. I am at the point where I just tell him how it is….today I will just be attentive and receptive…..

  2. I nearly tipped my chair over laughing at this one. You are right though, we do hear with our ears what we expect rather than what is said. Today, I will listen more carefully and try to open my heart. Thank you for the reminder I have more than one appendage.

  3. Pingback: The Impersonator | Lessons From the End of a Marriage·

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