Wednesday, May 13, 2009

"I could have listened better"

I walked home alone from Nyamirambo that evening, covered in paint, feeling tired, elated, and also perplexed that I had tried so hard to listen and still ended up choosing the wrong color. On the one hand, I hadn't wanted to wait for months until the women made a decision. On the other, I began to understand that I could have listened better, for listening is not just having the patience to wait, it is also learning how to ask the questions themselves. People who've always been dependent on others for some kind of charity or goodwill often have a hard time saying what they really want because no one usually asks them. And if they are asked, the poor often think no one really wants to hear the truth.
From The Blue Sweater by Jacqueline Novogratz

Read more about Jacqueline at the AcumenFund Blog