by Stacey Embry,
Director,
Morgan County Library


Listen more than you talk


My church is reading “The One Year Chronological Bible.” The entire Bible text, books, chapters, and even verses, is arranged in the order the events actually happened. We have been invited to share any questions with our pastor as they come up, but our Glensted congregation decided we would expand on that idea by having a monthly breakfast/book discussion. Sunday morning, I attended my church book club and Tuesday night I attended our library book club. At 10:30 a.m. Friday, Feb. 15 I will be attending my third book discussion of the month. I cannot wait!
What I have discovered about people is we love to discuss our dreams (the real weird ones we have at night, not our goals), our ancestry (if we are researching it) and the books we are reading. What we need to realize about each one of these things is most people don’t care and don’t want to hear about it, no matter how cool your dream was, no matter how crazy your relative was, or the cool things they did, or if you like the book you just read or not. Seriously, don’t bother the poor check out girl at Walmart with the insane dream you had the night before, she does not care. As good as the book I just finished was, and no matter how much I want to discuss it with my husband, he does not care. Don’t lose hope, there are resources for us, at least for us readers, maybe even for you genealogists, and surely there is some website, blog, or Facebook group that loves sharing the craziest dream you had.
The library is here to help with all of these things. Why? Because they are important. They are how we learn about each other. Even if we don’t want to listen, we should. In order to understand one another, we must not just share ourselves, we need to let others share themselves. “Listen more than you talk. No one learned anything by hearing themselves speak.” – Richard Branson
The book club part is easy. We offer three ways to share about what you are reading. Our monthly book club meets on the first Tuesday of every month. Our next meeting, 6:30 p.m. March 5, we will be discussing “The Book of Polly” by Kathy Hepinstall; copies are available for check out. We have a book discussion each month the first Friday after the second Thursday (don’t ask how I plan these things, I get it, you don’t need to, just ask for the date). Feb. 15 we will meet just to discuss whatever you have been reading, you don’t have an assignment. Every Wednesday, on our Facebook page, we have “What are you reading Wednesday?”. You just comment about what you are reading. You can share about how you feel about it or just the title and author. You can even ask others about the titles they share, a book discussion from the comforts of your own home.
Now to the ancestry part. We offer access to Ancestry.com from the library and Heritage Quest.com from your home. I would love to offer computer classes for either one of these resources. If you are experienced with either one of these sites and would enjoy sharing your expertise, please contact me. This group can become a resource for our amateur genealogists and a wonderful place for sharing your stories. What better person to talk to than someone who knows the joy of finding treasures in your family tree?
Dreams, that is a hard one. Currently, we offer some cool books about dreams; maybe we could start a club. I am a vivid dreamer. I try to forget them, so I will not be joining; but I guess if you really want to share, ask for me and remind me of the importance of listening and I will try.
Both discussions I attended this week, I thoroughly enjoyed. I left each one, excited about meeting again and maybe a tad nervous about how much I shared. There is a vulnerability in sharing about ourselves and letting people see who we are and how we really feel. I love books that are dark and delve into parts of people that are not said out loud, the things we think, but know we shouldn’t say. The last book club book we read was very dark. I had no clue when I picked it. I loved it, and someone else thought I needed therapy because of that. As we discussed the book of Job, I shared my problems with the God of the Old Testament. So I left both meetings feeling a little raw, I had exposed who I really am. That is okay, that is how we develop empathy. Yep, you can learn a lot about a person if you listen.
For more information, visit the Morgan County Library at 600 N. Hunter, call 573-378-5319 or see the library’s Web site at morgancountylibrary.org. Library hours are 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.