I Hear You

Tomorrow’s a day off from work, so I’m looking back at my calendar to try to re-collect the week before heading into an extended weekend. As usual, I attended a lot of meetings this week, but I feel really lucky because, in many of these meetings, I had the chance to hear from passionate people.

I heard a science teacher argue passionately for a new Physics course, one that would give students access to a broader swath of the discipline.

I heard a group of students argue passionately for an improved approach to bias incidents in school and society.

I heard a colleague argue passionately for the importance of sharing one’s creative work.

I heard a student argue passionately for his particular interpretation of a complicated book.

I heard a colleague argue passionately for an inclusive approach to developing next year’s calendar.

All of these people were respectful; all of them were insightful; all of them had done their homework; all of them showed me different ways to see and value and care about the world. I am thankful that there are so many ways. I am thankful that so many people around me care enough about me, and about the work we do together, to try to help me see things from their point of view. I am thankful that my education, both formal and informal, taught me how to listen — and that I have so many opportunities to practice. Listening is obviously a gift to the heard. It is also a great gift to the hearer.

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