Jeralidine Williams is a prominent leader who lives in Tampa. I was reading a feature about her in Forum, which is the magazine published by; The Florida Humanities Council, a group chaired by our CFO Casey Fletcher.
She was asked in the interview what advice that she gives to younger people. She said that she recommends to her 14-year-old grandson that he should “travel, study and listen so that he can learn about others.”
Travelling takes some risk. Most people are a bit more comfortable in their normal confines. To endeavor to travel means that you must get out of your comfort zone and take time away from normal duties to get out a bit. Travel doesn’t mean exotic. It can mean making a trip to an adjacent community, taking in a craft exhibit, learning something fresh about something you didn’t know.
Studying takes an effort. With so many things being streamed to us and pushed to us through devices these days, most people take the easy way toward brain stimulation. The idea of taking up a new body of learning and trying to master it moves away from us daily. It’s so much easier to Google it when you need it rather than learn it and bring it to mind on command.
Listening takes patience. It always has been a skill and an art. The listening skill takes on the right body language and the right mindset to communicate your commitment to a conversation. The art is being able to use questions and empathy to use that listening time to further a relationship.
Certainly, a 14-year-old would miss the importance of travelling outside his comfort zone, continually adding to the body of knowledge that resides in him and cultivating listening as a vital tool without someone giving him a heads up. Consider yourself advised as well.