community, helping, learning

Shut your trap! Watch and listen.

I grow weary of hearing people talking like they’re experts on everything. They end up trying to make crap, you know rubbish, appear fragrant, wise, and helpful.

Do you know what I mean?


There’s a lot to be said for watching and listening.

But, that means keeping the mouth shut,

suspending (decisive) judgment,

and processing what’s happening or being shared.

And we’re a culture of getting in people’s business,

without learning what’s going on.

We like telling people what to do, what to think and how to behave.


I want to give an example where listening pays off.

I have a son who’s on the younger end of his age, at least according to “the experts.”

He’d prefer to play, climb, and be rambunctious,

rather than sit quietly and be still at a desk and learn.

This summer and last academic year, I’ve learned more about the environment, circumstances, and tools that help him engage with classroom type learning.

He and I still have much to figure out.

He doesn’t learn material like the “ordinary” or “usual” person does in a classroom,

and I’m fine with that.

But, figuring out how he processes information, details, and theory will be tricky and adventurous.

It’s a challenge I look forward to engaging with him. Together, we’ll find a beneficial solution.

I think we’re on the way.

Lily Chang © 2018

Here’s my son,

quite focused on coloring.

He chooses each color deliberately and carefully,


he cares about staying in the lines.

Lily Chang © 2018

Just to add perspective to how big a deal that is,

he’s six,

and, he took more time and care to color than his sisters, all older than him and all quite good with concentration and fine-motor skills.

I try to spend more time playing to his strengths, as we discover them, and aim to lessen frustrations.

Instead of forcing him to conform to how the mainstream population learns, I watch and listen to him. And also, I don’t give up, and I don’t let him give up.

And now, he’s found something else he enjoys doing, and he takes the time and effort to do it well. That’s the fruit of watching and listening.




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