So when you are listening to somebody, completely, attentively, then you are listening not only to the words, but also to the feeling of what is being conveyed, to the whole of it, not part of it. — Jiddu Krishnamurti

We tend to think of power in terms of "doing"—pushing and acting. Yet sometimes we express our power most effectively with focused, open-hearted listening. The power of air is the power of listening, of not only hearing what others have to say but also factoring their experience into our world views and choices. Participants hear the story of Unitarian Universalist minister Don Robinson, who partnered with community leaders in Washington, D.C.'s inner city to create Beacon House Community Ministries, an after-school program that responds to the needs of children and youth. Participants practice intent listening in a whole group counting exercise and by listening to a partner talk about a pet peeve. Constructing "I'm All Ears" hats provides a fun way to remind themselves and family members to listen fully and deeply when the "air power" of listening can help.

Goals

This session will:

  • Explore the power of non-judgmental listening
  • Promote and build skills for active listening
  • Demonstrate that helping others begins with listening to learn their abilities as well as their needs
  • Affirm that "justice, equity and compassion in human relations" (second Principle) begins with active listening.

Learning Objectives

Participants will:

  • Hear the story of Unitarian Universalist minister Don Robinson, who created Beacon House Community Ministries for children and youth, in partnership with members of the Washington, DC community in which it is located
  • Practice deep attention and listening through an exercise in which the group counts to ten
  • Experience the power of listening and presence, by listening to a partner rant about a pet peeve
  • Create "all ears" hats as a reminder to listen actively and deeply.

For more information contact religiouseducation@uua.org.