Learn to Listen

Even a deaf man can learn to listen. Though we hear with our ears understanding comes from the heart and from the mind. So many problems in the world and in our own individual lives could be solved just by listening. It is not so much that the most intelligent of the world are any smarter than the least educated. The difference is just by way of how one listens over the other. If I tell a child to wash the dishes I do not need that child to respond that there are only few dishes in the sink. This is an example of poor listening skills. I did not ask the child if the sink was half empty or if it was half full, I asked the child to wash the dishes that were there. It seems simple enough, but this cycle is repeated throughout our lives in so many ways and we are often like this child. Learn to listen, not with the intent to reply but with the intent to understand. You see I cannot give you a proper response on a good meal until after I have digested it. I have to take the food in first, taste it, swallow it and then digest it. Now, in these stages I have choices. I can talk with my mouth full so that you do not understand what I speak. I can taste the food and declare it right even though I have not swallowed it. And I can assume it has a healthy effect on my body though my body has not yet digested it. Too often we do this with information in our lives. We reply to situations or to people even though we have not fully digested the information. The funny thing is that most people you talk to are never really listening to what you’re saying because they already have a response waiting on the tongue. They are just waiting for you to stop talking. They do not listen. They do not hear. You have to understand, as you navigate your life, that you cannot have a healthy relationship with people who do not listen. It won’t work. Some of you are in relationships with people and its not working. The reason its not working is because your in relationships with people who do not listen. For many of us the result is that we learn to do likewise. We do not stop to hear what is heard. We do not stop to listen.

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African Proverb: “Tell me whom you love, and I’ll tell you who you are.”

Powerful Quote

Black History:  Special Delivery!!

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African-American Proverb

“Tell me whom you love, and I’ll tell you who you are.”

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Writing 101: Assignment #20: Final: The Wrap-Up

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Primarily, I want to thank all of the bloggers who have been supportive of this blog throughout the duration of this course. Those who are regular PBS supporters and all of the wonderful new blogging buddies I have made. I do not have much for you this morning. Briefly, the prompts exposed me to some very creative ways to develop content. The method I enjoyed most was the story in a single picture exercise. I’m a visual learner, meaning I need to see it to understand it. That said my “Aha” moment if you will was discovering that I can develop a story just by looking at a single photo. This is definitely something I will be incorporating more into this blog and into my writing in general. Overall, the best thing about this course was the social interaction. I have gotten to know so many bloggers and have discovered so many blogs! In these four weeks I have followed quite a lot of you and I look forward to being enlightened by what you have to offer.

Below is a list of this week’s assignments. Usually I do this on Sunday but since today is the final wrap-up I will list them here. Also note that I have also created a page for my Writing 101 Assignments so that you can always go back and review them and so that new visitors can find them.

Assignment #16: Mine Your Own Material
Assignment #17: To Map a Purpose
Assignment #18: I SPEAK
Assignment #19: Round-Up
Assignment #20: Wrap Up

Writing 101 – Assignment #19: Roundup of Reads

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It is here. Tomorrow’s the last day of Writing 101! I’m so excited to have endured this project. I look forward to participating in more courses. We were supposed to feature a guest today but I didn’t reach out to anyone. It was my intent to do so but realistically I didn’t have the time to draft the post and all that goes into it. I believe it’s important to recognize your limits. That’s how people get all stressed out; can’t recognize when you just can’t. So anyway today I will be presenting a round-up of some of my best Writing 101 Assignments this far in case you missed them. These are the posts you seemed to enjoy the most and I am equally excited to review them for you. One thing that I do a lot on this blog is re-spin posts. It is my way of combing through the material and making sure they each get equal rotation for the constant stream of new visitors. It also helps me to see which posts you liked best and encourages me to produce equal quality material. I encourage new viewers / readers / followers / supporters to check out the recap of my Writing 101 Journey below if you missed it:

Indie Author Tips
Critique: Gwendolyn Brooks “We Real Cool”
Why I Write
Conquering Mountain
Artificial Life
Recreate a Single Day

Writing 101 – Assignment #18 – I SPEAK

“Mrs. Yes-ra-el?”

A woman tries to pronounce my last name.

“Ysrayl. Yis-ra-yell”, I tell her.

“Oh”, she looks confused. “Are you Jewish?”

I speak. “No ma’am.”

“Ya…”

She tries to pronounce my first name. I speak.

“Yecheilyah is pronounced e-see-lee-yah.”

She smiles, “That’s cute.”

I speak. “Thank you. It means deliverance and life.”

***

“Is that your real hair?” a man asks me on the street. I used to be confused before I went back to Chicago and discovered loc extensions were a thing.

I speak. “Yes. This is my real hair.”

“I like your dreads,” says someone else.

I speak. “Thank you, but I like to call them locs, not dreads.”

She looks confused. I speak.

Photo By National Library of Jamaica
Photo By National Library of Jamaica

“The term Dread Locs came from the war between British Colonists and the Jamaican Maroons, descendants of blacks who fought and escaped from slavery and established free communities in the mountainous interior of Jamaica. The Britain’s “dreaded” to see them coming down from the mountain because of their physical appearance. They wore their beards thick and their hair kinky. This hairstyle then became known as dread locs.”

“Oh”, she says, “I’m sorry.”

I speak. “Its OK. I’m not offended. This is just why I like to call them locs.”

“Are you Jamaican?” she says.

I speak. “I have been there but no, I am not Jamaican.”

***

My husband and I are at Denny’s. Sometimes we are just in the mood for breakfast we don’t have to cook ourselves. Its not a special occasion, its just our thing. And yes, we got tired of IHOP; we decided to switch it up. I order a delicious looking skillet meal. It comes back with melted cheese, potatoes, onions, bell peppers, egg, the works! It looks delicious but there’s bacon in it too. I call the waiter over.

I speak.

“This has bacon in it but I don’t eat pork.”

“We can fix that,” he says taking my plate back. “We have chicken sausage,” he says.

I love meat but somehow pork always finds its way in the meal. I play it safe with a vegetarian version of the plate.

“OK,” he says and takes my plate.

I really hate sending plates back but I’m not in a mood to be sick today. I have not eaten pork in seven years.

***

I’m visiting Chicago and I’m at my cousin’s house. We are about to eat. I say a prayer. I always pray before I eat. It is something my mom taught me when I was little and I have always done it. My cousin looks at me funny. He’s a Jehovah Witness.

“Ain’t no Allah up in here.”

My hands are outspread, palms facing the ceiling. My head is bowed. I finish my prayer.

I speak. “That’s good because I’m not a Muslim and I do not pray to Allah.”

He is silent. I eat.

***

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For today’s assignment I wanted to expose the quality of speaking. I talk a lot about the importance of being silent but if we are silent when we are to speak it can be just as damaging. In some cases, silence is not enough. We must speak.

Writer’s Quote Wednesday – John Grossman

First, I want to thank Colleen of Silver Threading for featuring me in her Writer’s Quote Wednesday! I am so very humbled. Now, for this week’s Writer’s Quote Wednesday I draw inspiration from John Grossman. I came across this quote earlier this week and it stuck out to me:

silence-is-not-the-absence-of-something

Silence is no easy task. But when done in its time, silence speaks to self-control. It speaks to discipline. It speaks to discernment. Silence speaks to the presence of humility and wisdom when used appropriately. It is just as damaging to be silent in the time to speak as it is to speak in a time of silence. Words are so fragile, and so vulnerable that they can easily become corrupt. They can abuse or be abused; be misunderstood or cause misunderstanding; they can hurt, tear down, and the list goes on. Words can also heal and build-up but they are like newborns, delicate and completely dependent on its owner. We, the owners of our words, have a responsibility to make sure they are properly cared for. That said, when used in its time silence is not, for instance, the absence of innocence. It is the presence of understanding.

I relinquish the mic
I relinquish the mic

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Click the photo below (or any of the highlighted links) to see how you can join Writer’s Quote Wednesday!

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