When I look around to find a subject to write about there is research involved but often as not, the art of being a good listener is a key ingredient. Often as not the subject of an article comes from something someone says over morning coffee. This week is no exception.
With it being graduation season I hear the older folks like me say something akin to. “I sure wish the kids or grand kids would come around more often.”
The cure to make that happen was started years ago in most cases. I am referring to the times when as a parent or a younger grand parent when you missed the ball game, or the music recital or other activities. Children and grand children build relationships with you when you take an interest in them during the formative years. When you don’t take an interest in their activities they interpret it to mean you are not interested in them,
I remember as a child I was not shooed away from the table when adult relatives were talking unless it was a serious and important discussion. So how did it work for me? Listening gave me the art of hearing and understanding different points of view. I found I was interested in the issues of the day and it allowed me the access to different points of view to form my own opinions even at an earlier age.
Even more than that it instilled in me the belief that my parents, grandpa, aunts and uncles were interested in me. With that as a foundation it was never a chore to go see them, it was a privilege. Most of the older ones have gone now and I am the senior. I am not being judgmental in my comments, as I have made my share of mistakes as well and that came home this past week.
It is like this. I spent years in broadcasting, politics, farming and for four years the President of a major farm association and sat on a provincial and a federal association board of directors. I missed a few graduations, ball games and events. Where I shouldn’t have.
Well this past week I went to Idaho to watch a granddaughter graduate. I realized what I missed when I missed some of the others. I won’t miss another and there are going to be quite a few yet.
I learned something else too the children are forgiving if you pickup the trail in time and bridge the gap. Around here kids, grand kids and great grand kids come around quite often.
If you are wondering how to open the door to a relationship that has sat on the shelf, it is not all that hard. Every telephone conversation starts with Hello. Children are forgiving, and by the mere fact you show an interest in them they are only too eager to get to know you better. It is never too late, no you can’t make up for lost time, but you can take advantage of the present and what the future holds.
As for the younger folks you don’t know how much time there is. I had a 94 year old aunt who I gave a cassette machine and tapes to and she filled me in on a lot of family history, think about it you can get to know a lot about your family history that way.
Why is this all so important? You learn about yourself as they are part of who you are. Now that you know this information pick up the phone. Every conversation starts with hello and I am sure you can handle it from here