My friend Tracey had a bright idea and she is acting on it by creating a business model around the topic of compassionate listening. She initiates her blog on the topic with this story:
"Known, Heard and Loved got its start when I was a twenty-three year old college grad working at my first job in health care public relations. I was in my windowless office having a down day when, no kidding, a clown walked into the room. You know, the red nose, white face paint, yarn-mop of hair and wacky clothing ensemble that looked as if it had been made from a melange of Mrs. Roper's muumuu castoffs (please tell me you're old enough to remember Three's Company? "Oh, Stanley...").
Do you happen to know anyone who is a fan of clowns besides clowns themselves (that is, if you actually know a real clown)? I don't, and I'm not a fan - but I am terribly polite. So I braced myself for the clown's unfunny antics and the laughter I'd force myself to muster.
The clown got my attention alright, but in the most subtle of ways: Silently, she pulled a tiny, folded piece of paper out of her huge straw basket, put it on my desk, smiled, bowed and left.
I opened this tiny scrap of paper, which was only about two inches long and two centimeters wide. In neat script, it said:
"You are known, heard and loved."
Check out her blog at Known, Heard and Loved to see where she is going with an experience that shaped her life.
Hundredth Monkey stuff for sure.