I’ve been working in restaurants for over 8 years now. When you work in the hospitality industry listening is a must. I’ve worked with and served people from all around the world when working on a cruise ship. I’ve never had a customer I couldn’t help even if there wasn’t a complete solution to a problem, as long as they felt heard and appreciated they felt like they had a solution. Many times acknowledging the little things that people would normally brush off means a lot to people and demonstrates that you really are listening. With family, friends, or strangers I’m always open to hearing someone out and trying to put myself in their shoes. Sometimes you have to ask if they’re looking for a solution or just want to be heard.

There have been plenty of times when I just wanted to vent to my mother and she gives me possible solutions. As you grow up your parents are always warning you about things they did to make sure you don’t make the same mistakes but we almost never listen. I think about all the times my mom had told me about some of the things our family and friends have gone through. They had faced some hardships and made some mistakes. I heard it but did I really listen? I didn’t because if I did I wouldn’t have made the same mistakes. At least it shows in a way though a little careless I am open to continuous learning even if someone else already learned that lesson.

 As I’ve gotten older I realize I ask myself or others questions about culture and history. In school, I was always so uninterested in history and I limited myself to learning. I thought it was the worst subject and a waste of time.  It’s not just culture and history there are so many things that I wonder about now that are little big questions. It’s like being a little kid again and I learn a lot from my nephew who asks really good questions that I would have never thought to ask or think about.  Most of the time it’s like a million rapid-fire questions but we have to show them we too are compelled, enthusiastic, and passionate about learning so we can encourage them to keep asking questions

Listening with understanding and empathy, responding to wonderment and awe, and remaining open to continuous learning are my main habits of mind. I’m always with a listening ear, an itch for adventure, and a curious mind.

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September 11, 2022 4:45 am

Dear Karyn,

I am amused with your post, “I Hear You!” because I too agree with idea of people listening to you vs. them understanding. I feel like there is an extent to where people can try to understand what you are saying, but never will they be in the same situation as you, and that’s where it becomes tricky.

One sentence that you wrote that stood out for me is, “Sometimes you have to ask if they’re looking for a solution or just want to be heard.” This is because some will appreciate you trying to put yourself in their shoes and trying to resolve whatever it is your’re going through while others will be frustrated at the fact you will never truly feel or understand because it is not happening to you. Although many see too little effort make it seem as if you don’t care and too much. make it seem like you’re doing too much and you do not know how difficult it is to understand is a major obstacle that can be hard to read when it comes to different people. Not only that but the situation they are facing.

Thank you for your intriguing writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next, because I found this post very relatable to some experiences I have faced before. In a sense this post brought all my assumptions true because now I know I am not the only one who noticed this when it came to listening and being listened to.


September 10, 2022 9:05 pm

Dear Karyn

I am filled with joy by your post, “I Hear You!” because the subject of being open to listening and learning through other people is very often overlooked in daily life. Countless times I have been in situations where if I had just listened to others, I may have been able to avoid numerous consequences. As you’ve said, more often than not, we are lectured by our parents and warned about treading down harmful paths, yet we do not truly listen; in one ear, out the other. However, you represent the possibility of growth.

“There are so many things that I wonder about now that are little big questions.” You learned to explore; to no longer limit yourself to what you expect is within your scope of comprehension. This is very important because, as I said before, you represent the possibility of growth. To be able to free yourself from self-imposed limits is amazing.

Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next because it seems you are very knowledgeable and a good person to learn from. I wish you luck and hope that you grow into who you wish to become, just as you have inspired me to do.


August 30, 2022 2:31 am

Dear Karyn

I am encouraged by your post “I hear You!” because I can relate to the various things you’ve said. I have not listened to my parents about everything they’ve said which does show room for openness. Just as you have learned to better yourself from your experiences I am working to do the same thing.

One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is “In school, I was always uninterested in history and I limited myself to learning”. I think this is insightful because during my classes I need to remember that I’m in control of what I make of them.

Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next because you seem very relatable. I would love to see what other life experiences you will share that others can also find value in.

Youth Voices is an open publishing and social networking platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.  See more About Youth VoicesTerms of ServicePrivacy Policy.All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License


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