The Summer Reading Project: Listen

Blog readers: Chi Alpha @ Stanford is engaging in our annual summer reading project. As we read through B.L.E.S.S. by Dave and Jon Ferguson, I’ll post my thoughts here. They are all tagged summer-reading-project-2021. The schedule is online.

There are a bunch of cool graphics like this at

This week is the L in B.L.E.S.S. — Listen.

The chapter was good but unexceptional. Listen before you speak. Seek first to understand before you seek to be understood. God gave you two ears and one mouth — use them accordingly.

These are principles that we’ve all heard before. As in so many areas, the challenge is less in the knowing than in the doing. If we all lived according to what we knew, we’d be a lot buffer. Almost everyone knows how to live healthier than they are — they don’t need more information, they just need to convert their knowledge into action.

Likewise with listening — just do it. One way to force yourself to listen is to ask questions.

At Stanford the most common questions people ask are “What are you studying?” and “Where are you from?”

I like the suggestions that the brothers Ferguson offer for additional questions:

  • History: “Tell me your story.” “What’s different between here and where you grew up?”
  • Heart: “What’s your favorite _____?” (food, team, place to travel)
  • Habits: “What are you into?” “What do you like to do with your free time?” “When you don’t have classes anymore what do you look forward to doing?”
  • Hurts: “How are you doing with _____?”

So go forth with questions, and listen to the answers!

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