Monday, 27 April 2015


by Adéle Basson
My favourite, early morning pass time on a Saturday is watching videos on the internet. Of course only when there is not that dreaded load-shedding. I watch comedy, music videos and also catch up on the latest gadget trends.  Last week I came across a video of a 28 year old woman who is married, with two small kids and who have been deaf her whole life. And then she received an implant and for the first time in her life she could hear. I then also watched the video where she appeared on a talk show, a mere week after this miracle and she was telling the host how she could hear birds singing outside, her children laughing and also her husband snoring.

This video made me reflect for the next week to come. One of the first things that caught my attention during the talk show video was the perfect way in which this woman was talking. There was no indication that she could not hear the voices of others a week ago. She had no speech impediment at all and when asked about this her reply was that she received a lot of coaching while deaf.

 I then had flashbacks to my own high school years, and remembered my one friend, who was born deaf, but came to a ‘normal’ school without any special needs classes available to assist her.  She recorded every class and in the evenings her mom would transcribe all the day’s lessons for her.  That is a huge commitment to someone else and even more impressive that this friend of mine is a qualified pathologist today, also with the help of her mom.

I used these two examples to explain something really simple.  We all have people in our lives that can give us guidance.  The friend who already did what you want/need to do, and who can give you advice on the do’s and don’ts.   Or a parent who can guide you with your own children’s upbringing.  There are so many mentors if we would only listenUP and hear them speak.

1)      Keep quiet

2)      Focus and avoid distractions

3)      Really Listen

4)      Ask questions

And listenUP and learn from each other.