The Importance of Listening

Being able to listen to others is an important skill set that I think many of us often forget about. Whether we are simply trying to solve a problem between friends or whether we are trying to resolve conflicts between countries, listening is a key factor in creating solutions for problems that will continue to keep working even when the problem is not at the highlight of our focuses anymore. I think DeAmon’s presentation really shed a new light on how listening and communicating with people in the neighborhood’s around the trails can really be the key factor in making our changes sustainable. I think the most important factor in keeping the trails clean, aesthetically beautiful, and safe is to involve the residents that surround the trails in order to create emotional connections between them and the trails. For example, if a resident is a local artist who wants to have their work more known in the area, they may be interested in painting a mural in an area we evaluated that we thought there was great potential for art. If we can make this happen, and that artist/resident paints a mural or displays some of their artwork on a portion of the trail, we have established an emotional connection between that artist/resident and the trail. That way now he/she will hopefully be more inclined to keep that artwork and trail looking nicer and try to encourage others to do so as well. This could have a chain reaction on other residents who are friends of this artist or others who that artist reaches out to and so on. I think establishing emotional connections between the residents and citizens of Indianapolis and the trails is the key to successfully establishing safe, beautiful, clean, accessible, and popular trails. When people feel a connection to something they are more likely to help keep it going and the more people who have a connection to the trails the easier it will be to sustain them in the long-run and continue to improve them.

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