Silent and listen are spelled with the same letters“Silent” and “listen” are spelled with the same letters. ~Author Unknown

Dear Kid,

Often when someone says something, our instinct is to jump in with a response, comment, opinion, or something that shows a) we’ve been listening and b) we know a lot of words.

The problem with that is that we’re busy formulating a response, clever bon mot, retort, or smart-ass comment rather than actually listening to the person.

And the problem with that is that without listening a) we don’t really know what they are going to say and b) they might not know entirely either.


‘Tis true, oh young one.

Sometimes as people are talking, they are working out what they are thinking. By interrupting, we deprive them of that processing time. And it’s important time they need to really work though (perhaps more slowly than you might like) whatever they’re thinking about.

Back to point A. The second A that is.

As mighty as your brain is (and it is) and as perceptive as you are (and you are) sometime (even if it is very occasionally) people say unexpected things. And if you already have your response ready, you may miss their point entirely.

As is often said (and if you haven’t heard this, allow me to be the first to add to your repertoire of clichés) we have two ears and one mouth which means we should spend twice as much time listening as talking. This is especially true when the subject is shoes and the other conversational participants are female.

Love, Mom