November 16, 2001
November 16,2001

Webster's sixth edition of the Dictionary's definition of: HEED:To consider, To pay careful notice of, To pay close attention to, To regard with care. Heed is a synonym for the words, listen or hear. When someone says "You didn't listen to me", they mean, "you did not heed my words."

Students should be taught how to heed subject matter. There would be better marks and much less misery in the world if individuals paid closer attention to stimuli. For example, Many years ago my son came home and back talked to me when I asked him to do something for me. By considering with care what he was really saying, I inquired into what kind of a day he had had. He answered he couldn't talk about it just now, "I am going to my room." I accepted his response. About one half hour later he reappeared to tell me of his ghastly day. I don't recall what he said, maybe he was rejected by someone he liked, or got a bad mark in a test. It doesn't matter to me now. It did matter to him, then. He needed me to heed with all my understanding so that he could heal. Parents miss a valuable time to teach whatever lesson is necessary for the occasion if they only respond with punishment to the disrespectful sounds of their teenagers.

Amazingly, situations turn from volatile to loving or pleasant even with complete strangers when one heeds the others emotional state. During the Christmas season I entered a local department store, as I approached the counter, the saleslady spoke in a surly tone, "What do you want?" I looked around. No one was there except me. I reasoned, that she did not know me nor had I even had time to in any way offend her, so she must be tired since it was near the end of the day. Therefore, I said,"You must have had a hard day." I smiled. She smiled back and said, "May I help you?"

Often a wife is told by a husband, "Don't flaunt yourself. Wear a higher necked blouse!" Yes that is a controlling remark, but why does he care? Isn't it because he loves you? Couldn't you discuss his love for you, reaffirm yours for him.. He may finally admit that he feels insecure that you will love him always. Then discuss the separate issue of your need to pick your own wardrobe. Since a new perspective has freed the misunderstandings of the discourse viable solutions might result.

A friend of mine told me she was going to hang up on me, if I didn't tell a relative off that was manipulative. Again,heeding her good intentions not her dictatorial manner that annoyed me, I said, "You must care about me an awful lot to getso upset about the way I have been treated. I'm not hurt by it. I was just recounting the situation to you." She took a deep breath and said, "Wow! You have some patience!" The subject was dropped by both of us and a pleasant conversation followed.

It does take an extra second to rethink ones own feelings and maybe that does take a bit of patience. However, when one balances the few split seconds it takes to consider what someone else is experiencing against the option of discord that lasts for both parties for hours, days, or years, the trade off of heeding instead of reproaching the other is well worth the time investment. It feels good to have a smile instead of an insult. It inflates ones ego to know that you are in control of your emotions and won't allow yourself to become entangled in a fracas.

"Watch what you're doing!" might fly out of a wives mouth when she notices her mate disregarding safety rules while he uses his power saw. It just might save the male's fingers, if he heeds her caring words instead of the sharpness in her voice. Unfortunately we believe so much in the right to be independent, that often that dictate overrules ones ability to hear the concern. Naturally it would be so much better if the first to speak would heed his/her own intentions and make certain that ones voice inflections mirror ones true inner-meaning. Wherever it begins, it should commence because life would be more harmonious for everyone. Maybe bumper signs should read, Heed now and forever more!