In the book “Stories of the Spirit” by Jack Kornfield and Christina Feldman, there is a story that hasn’t left me yet. In it, I see myself, my children, and all of those who feel unheard or unseen. I have read it over and over and continue to reflect upon its essence. Maybe it will open your eyes to see or hear your children, your spouse, or any of the unseen in our society—
A family went out to a restaurant for dinner. When the waitress arrived, the parents gave their orders. Immediately, their five year old daughter piped up with her own: “I’ll have a hot dog, french fries and a coke.”
“Oh no you won’t,” interjected the dad, and turning to the waitress he said, “She’ll have meat loaf, mashed potatoes, milk.” Looking at the child with a smile, the waitress said, “So, hon, what do you want on that hot dog?”
When she left, the family sat stunned and silent. A few moments later the little girl, eyes shining, said, “She thinks I am real.”
How many times in a conversation do you feel real? How many times to people REALLY listen to what you have to say? How many times do you allow others to feel real? This is a powerful lesson, not only for those of us that are parents, but for all human beings. Everyone around us is real and deserves to be heard. Take some time, get quiet and listen. Maybe in doing this, we will become more real ourselves.