The Awesome Power of Listening

In the idyllic Victorian shore community of Spring Lake, NJ ten teenagers have stepped in front of a train – sometimes at the very same spot – and committed suicide since 2008.

The same train that took many of their parents to high powered and well-paid jobs in the bustle of New York City every day.

The most recent victim died in February of last year.  He wasn’t depressed although some of the victims were.  He was said to be a great student being raised by his father after his mother’s death from cancer.

Ten students dead.  Many in the same high school.

To be sure, in some cases there were extenuating circumstances, but the mystery of what would bring someone who seems to be happy to this early end of life remains a mystery.  Perhaps they weren’t heard.

Most times life goes on and people suffer in silence.  So how is it possible that we can miss problems this obvious?

We must become better at listening. 

We all want to be heard.  In a world packed with communications tools from phones to texting, the secret is to begin practicing the awesome power of listening.


“To say that a person feels listened to means a lot more than just their ideas get heard.  It’s a sign of respect.  It makes people feel valued”. – Deborah Tannen

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