Learning about Listening
Mark Braun brought Piper, his dog, to Sunday School to help teach a lesson on Feb. 2 about listening. For everyone, it was a lesson worth listening to — and learning from.
Mark said he first learned about listening when he was in 11th grade in high school and he, along with two other boys, were sent to the counselor’s office to learn about listening. He said he wasn’t sure why he was sent there, but that what he learned that day helped to shape his life.
During the all-to-short time Mark was able to share his insight with the Sunday School children and a few adults, he talked about listening vs. hearing, paying attention, reflective listening, listening to God and how God listens to us. It was an engaging discussion with many of the children sharing their own perspectives — after attentively listening to what Mark had to say.
Piper took part in the discussion when Mark talked about how to tell when dogs are listening to you and how they react to what you say, largely through body language. Piper was a master of providing examples of every point Mark was making.
Mark told his listeners that as a doctor, he spends most of his day listening to others and how important that is and can be.
To illustrate his points, Mark read the poem, “How to Listen,” by Joyce Sutphen, the Poet Laureate of Minnesota.
Thank you Mark, for giving us the chance to listen and learn.
“How to Listen”
By Joyce Sutphen
Tilt your head slightly to one side and lift
your eyebrows expectantly. Ask questions.
Delve into the subject at hand or let
things come randomly. Don’t expect answers.
Forget everything you’ve ever done.
Make no comparisons. Simply listen.
Listen with your eyes, as if the story
you are hearing is happening right now.
Listen without blinking, as if a move
might frighten the truth away forever.
Don’t attempt to copy anything down.
Don’t bring a camera or recorder.
This is your chance to listen carefully.
Your whole life might depend on what you hear.