By Listening to Beauty and Joy

Most people think I work 24/7 or close to it. But no, I do have some hobbies, and I do sleep! For example, last weekend I had the most fun I’ve had in a while.

I spent some time with a dear friend and her grandchildren along a riverbank; we were going to paddle a bit and breathe the fresh air. The kids were so amazing, eight-year-old twin girls and a three-year-old boy. To keep my hands busy is essential while I sit, so I was doing some needlepoint.

All three were fascinated by my needlework, a small project called “July angel.” It will ultimately be a gift.

They oversaw me doing this task and asked many questions about needlework and my hobbies. I answered them, explaining how adults sometimes use hobbies to calm down and relax. I told them I don’t do this all the time, just sometimes, and I am not in a hurry to finish it. “Smart,” they said, “Christmas is still far away.”

In return, I decided to ask them a few questions myself. Did they like the jewels I was to put in the angel’s hair? Did they think it was a good idea to put firework patterns on her dress? How did the various yarns feel? Which one was their favorite?

Watching the joy in these little things, I wondered how well we listen to each other. How often do we wonder about someone else’s point of view? I wondered how willing we would be to implement someone else’s suggestions.

Here are the children’s suggestions and what I will do with them:

  1. The children said it would be nice if the angel’s eyes would be the color of the person receiving the gift. DONE
  2. The children said putting firework patterns on her dress was not a good idea. DONE
  3. The children said that the new thread, sparkly, is a good idea and that I should use it. DONE

Of course, jewels will be in the angel’s hair as the pattern suggested.

How does this play out in your work?

  • Are you asking for input?
  • Are you listening and providing opportunities for others to observe and reflect on your work?
  • Are you creating a better service by adding the perspectives and ideas of others?
  • Do you think about the person receiving your support, and what will delight them?