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A Lesson in Listening from a Horse
We have been told time and time again how important it is to develop the skill of listening, and yes it is a skill. Some people are natural listeners whilst others struggle to maintain a balance between talking AND listening. The thing is, being listened to, is a basic human need that we all crave. From the crying baby to the disgruntled protestor in the street, being heard is of great importance to us all.
By actively engaging in good listening skills, we are not only acknowledging the presence of another but sending a message that they are of importance and worthy of our time and attention. A true listening skill require concentration, and is not just about holding your tongue, waiting for the opportune moment to jump back in with what you have to say. Listening is a way of giving value to others. That's right! Your silence can speak volumes to someone who is longing to be heard.
As I mentioned earlier, listening is a skill and I would like to share with you, an example of excellent listening skills from a very unlikely source. I recently came across an online article about a pet therapy program. Based on a farm near Fort Saskatchewan in Canada, Horses together with other animals are being used to help children with disabilities to gain confidence in interaction. Gary Millar who owns the farm has witnessed first-hand, the benefits that children have gained through interaction with the horses. Children are encouraged to read books to the horses and talk about whatever it is they wish to verbalise. Some children who have previously struggled with their education soon develop a newly found confidence as a result.
“Horses are incredibly intuitive," said Millar. "They communicate with people in ways that often I don't think we realize how we're communicating. And they have a way of making us feel very good about ourselves."
Source quote: CBC News
Mr Miller believes that horses are great teachers and I would have to agree. They may not have the capacity to respond with words but in other ways manage to communicate being fully engaged by the activity, which in turn allows the child to feel listened to. Perhaps we can all learn to be more intuitive to the feelings of others by using our ears more and the mouth a little less. Make someone feel special today, happy listening!
I wish you Happiness, Health and Wealth!!!
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