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don’t be afraid to listen…

February 14, 2016


Listening is harder than you think.

In my world of work, the urge to ‘counsel’ – that generic term for when a youth suddenly, spectacularly, breaks down (and for a few minutes of their lives vomits forth all the horrid details, and the pain of why they are homeless and on the streets – that urge to counsel is so overwhelming, that most people in my business rarely hear – really hear – what that youth in that moment is trying to tell them.

For example: Here is one scenario of many that recurs frequently when working with homeless youth.

A youth, who has just been beaten up by a couple of cops, and is trying to de-construct with you what happened , screams out in his impotence that “all cops are fucking assholes!”, and with tears in his eyes he puts his fist through the drywall in your office…

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