Now i have turned to see what else Brenda Ueland has written and i am eager to read her autobiography and her essays. I have found one essay that i already know will be a core text in my teaching: Tell Me More: On the Fine Art of Listening. I found an HTML version of it here and a PDF here. I often speak of the power of listening in both my popular education and work and storytelling. Ueland again writes plainly about the "powerful thing that listening is" :
This is the reason: When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand. Ideas actually begin to grow within us and come to life. You know how if a person laughs at your jokes you become funnier and funnier, and if he does not, every tiny little joke in you weakens up and dies. Well, that is the principle of it. It makes people happy and free when they are listened to. And if you are a listener, it is the secret of having a good time in society (because everybody around you becomes lively and interesting), of comforting people, of doing them good.It is a strange thing about language or perhaps it's just our use of it that we talk about "writing" as though it were a thing apart from "reading" - first one, then the other. We do the same thing with "telling" (or "speaking") and "listening". I have long been persuaded about the power of listening and i am really excited to find this elegant and persuasive text. If this is what listening meant in our political, pedagogical, economic world, what then?