The power and value of listening are beautifully expressed in this poem by an unknown author:





When I ask you to listen to me and you start to give me advice, you have not done what I asked.

When I ask you to listen to me and you begin to tell me why I shouldn’t feel that way,

you are trampling on my feelings.

When I ask you to listen to me and you feel you have to do something to solve my problem,
you have failed me, strange as that may seem.

Listen! All I ask is that you listen. Don’t talk or do-just hear me.

Advice is cheap;

20 cents will get you both Dear Abby and Billy Graham in the same newspaper.

And I can do it for myself; I am not helpless. 

Maybe discouraged and faltering, but not helpless.

When you do something for me that I can and need to do for myself,
you contribute to my fear and inadequacy.

But when you accept as a simple fact that i feel what I feel, no matter how irrational,

then I can stop trying to convince you and get about this business of understanding

what’s behind this ‘irrational’ feeling.

And when that’s clear, the answers are obvious and I don’t need advice.
Irrational feeling make sense when we understand what’s behind them…

So please listen, and just hear me.     

(Author Unknown)