The trees are talking. Are you listening?

Have you tuned in to Refresh Friday: The Space Between? As many Fridays as is practical, someone from the community joins me in dialog for 10 minutes on Facebook Live. We explore ideas that challenge you to listen, think and act. 

A recent Refresh discussion with my friend Robin focused on the space between nature’s living experience and science. The trees are talking. Are you listening?  

Trees tell us spring is coming with their new buds. They guide us into fall by shedding their summer coat. The soil where they live and nurture one another gives life. They communicate their distress through their leaves, bark and roots. Yet, to recognize they may be in trouble requires us to take the time to observe and understand what they’re saying.

The same is true with people. 

Think about how many of us are walking around feeling and showing distress. How many of us have experienced prolonged periods without being physically or emotionally fed and watered? How many of lack the nurturing needed to thrive? The answer is most of us.

It doesn’t take a botany degree to identify an unhealthy tree, yet some knowledge of the plant world helps. Humans, of course, are even more complex. 

Listening is an act of service to another. Our society encourages us to hear, sometimes we hear what we expect the other to say.  Yet our daily interactions often do not support us to listen, to listen in a way that allows us to learn from the point of view of the other.  

Join me in gratitude to those our community who choose to connect with the Center to sharpen their listening skills, in addition they learn the skill to listen with impartiality. This April we appreciate each and everyone of our Mediators and Facilitators in our community.  Thank you for your service.

Our mediator corps, every person who has taken our 40-hour Basic Mediation Training, as well as those who have participated in our 16-hour Tough Conversations Training have learned the art and science of listening. And you can, too. 

When we look around at a society rife with conflict and division, I believe the best gift we can give ourselves and others is the ability AND willingness to listen. 

Are you ready? Join us, we are here to help. 

~ Maralise Hood Quan