“Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.”   Jimi Hendrix


Maybe I have been living in a bubble of decency. Until recently I spent a lot of time watching jazz musicians play music seamlessly. One sly glance towards a mate would set them off in a new direction. At home I would listen to children playing joyfully for hours in our neighbor’s backyard. One laugh or giggle would lead to a contagious cacophony of squeals that brought back happy memories. I recently watched an artist friend work with a  student, constantly reminding them how important their young voice was. I have been surrounded by people who listen to others. We can learn from jazz musicians, children, and all those who listen carefully before they act.



Too often my mind triggers a frantic message to my mouth that I better not wait to make my ideas known while someone else is talking. The truth is I wasn’t always listening. I didn’t care enough about my friends to wait and  listen.

“The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers.”  Dr Martin Luther King Jr

Our nation for too long has been self absorbed. We have failed to hear those in distress and those who ask us to be part of the solution. We must change if we want to be the country we set out to be. 

We must listen to those who know more than we do.

We must listen to those who need help.

We must listen to those who only want to be treated as equals.

We must listen to the children who will teach us how to get along.

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”

Dr Martin Luther King Jr

Every day all day long we have a chance to make things better, listening is the first step.

If we all make the effort to listen more than we speak, maybe we can whip the virus and create a fair and just country that will be a safe and prosperous place for all our children. It would be a good start.

John Osler

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