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My 2 Cents: The power of listening

Eric Chilton talks about some lessons he learned young from his mother that hold even more ture today.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — There are lessons that our parents teach us that at the time may feel like passing comments but over time they take on a life of their own. Such was the case with my mother. 

I remember thinking about the differences between my two parents and how they fit so perfectly together. My father was a well-educated man with graduate degrees and a wealth of knowledge packed into his mind. He would retire in the early 90s as a school superintendent. My mother never took to school very much. She always said she wanted to be a great mom... and she was. The best. 

But one time my dad said to me "You know you can learn so much from your Mother. She is streetwise and an incredible people person." I asked, 'What does that mean?' To which he said, 'Ask her.'

When I did she said 'You know, at the start, I always felt a little lost when we would attend the fancy galas and the conversation was above my head but always remember this. A smart person knows when to be quiet and listen.'

That always stuck with me. My father would shake his head up and down when Mom said that and say 'see. I told you. Smart.'

She continued, 'over time I learned so much by listening and eventually I could hold my own.' And it made me realize the true power of listening. It's even MORE relevant today when we are in a time of racial and political conflict. If we all just listen... it could make such a difference. This is a lesson we can take into all aspects of our lives. Career. Relationships. Friendships. It applies to them all.

I guess my mom knew more than I ever dreamed she did. 

Way to go, Betty.