The Art of Listening

One to the attribute of being a leader in having honed the art of listening. This past week I was asked to lead a community center dance program. The children are a mix of boys and girls and are middle school age. I always try to get the input of students when I am making a program or dance for them. I do this to learn their interests, likes and dislikes and give them the opportunity to get in on the creative stage.

There were three girls and two boys at the event. I asked them about the music the like and rap was the overwhelming favorite. This segued into current events. One young lady said she loved the music and dancing of Chris Brown. I agreed that he is an amazing dancer. She then went on to say that Rihanna deserved her beating because she was did things to Chris that wasn’t right. The other girls chimed in supporting this girls statement.

The counselor and I were shocked at this.  We explained that it was never okay to hit a woman for any reason. The two boys also said the beating was wrong. The girl was adamant  that Chris was in the right. This saddened me greatly. I told her that if she ever found herself in an abusive relationship she should tell a trusted adult.

Parents, relatives and trusted friends should also practice the art of listening with young people. Even at young ages they have definite opinions.  Some of these opinions can be detrimental to their well-being and a parent in many cases doesn’t have a clue. They would be in the know if they talked and actively listened to their children.

The children gave me a list of artists and songs they like. I told them that  I would bring in the words so that they can understand what they are listening to. The art of listening will go one step further because they will have an understanding of the words instead of putting so much focus on the beat.

I will let you know the results of  that experience next week.

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One Response

  1. The girl’s comments are very disturbing, but your point about listening is so important here.

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