Stop, Look, and Listen

stop look and listenWhen I was little, my mom would walk me to school every morning. We lived less than a mile from my school, but as a child, I remember it feeling like a big adventure, like a journey. We were never rushed, so we had plenty of time to talk about anything and everything.

Before we would cross a street my mom would sing me this little song, “Stop, look, and listen, before you cross the street. Use your eyes and your ears, and then you use your feet.” I loved that song and I didn’t mind waiting to cross the street, so that we could sing that song together.

The other day, as I was walking Stella, my boyfriend’s daughter across the street, we paused and sang that little song, and I got to thinking about how applicable that song is to every day life and interactions.

Too often we jump into “walking,” before “stopping.” We immediately reply to e-mails and texts without stopping, looking, and really listening. Too often we “cross the street,” and react, without fully understanding the other person.

If we were to apply this song to our common interactions, I believe a lot of misunderstandings would be prevented and we would enjoy our daily journey in a greater way. Think about it for a moment, how quickly we run through our day in a continuous state of reactivity, responding to communication right away, without that valuable pause. Imagine how much more effective we would be if we would simply make this little song our habit. We would see more. We would hear more. We would enjoy more.

This song is going to be my mantra today and this week. I will be watching for every “road” I cross. I will make a conscious effort to STOP, LOOK, and LISTEN before I respond to others. I will do my very best to STOP, LOOK, and LISTEN before I take action, before I make any decisions. It’s a simple practice that can create significant results.

Try it with me. Or maybe you are already really good at this? If so, keep going! As we go about our day and our week, especially in conversations, let’s all be mindful and present. Let’s create a positive impact with others, one interaction at a time, being sure we STOP, LOOK, and LISTEN to others. Let’s look for and listen for what it’s like in their shoes- What are their concerns; what are their needs? Let’s listen for, both, what is being said and what it not being said. To do that, we cannot simply rush through. We must slow down. I believe that with this simple act of stopping, looking, and listening, we will create greater connections, more understanding, and improved communication.

Have a wonderful week! Enjoy your journey and remember to STOP, LOOK and LISTEN before “crossing your street.”

With Love and Volition,