Our Nation’s Capacity for Listening


originally posted on Friday, September 16, 2011


All of us, old enough to remember, reviewed our memories of 9/11 last week.

10 years from that day, there were many descriptions of life since.  Expressions of the varied ways individuals would observe the day abounded.

What moved me most was the listening that was occurring on a national basis.

People listened to the stories of how those who survived the terrorist attack – the injured, the family members, the colleagues, the friends – are doing.

What I didn’t hear were questions about individuals’ religion, political affiliation, sexual identity, or wealth.

The empathy expressed by so many people to the stories of so many others was palpable.

People spent the 10th anniversary of that day in ways which suited their individual needs.  There wasn’t “one right way” to express feelings.

We didn’t judge.

We listened.

We are a nation of listeners.  We demonstrated that we can listen with our hearts and minds open.

Coaches are trained listeners but, as we’ve demonstrated, all of us can listen.

We listen.  We learn.  We grow.

Listening with reverence.

Inner progress.

May it continue.



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