Make Room For The Stuttering

The Things We Take for Granted

Posted on: May 6, 2009

The Wonderment of Life

Most of us begin our days with a continuous list of things we need to do to keep our lives running smoothly, but we rarely take time to note all the things we don’t need to do. For example, we don’t need to figure out how to breathe. We don’t need to find a way to make sure the earth continues to revolve around the sun. We don’t need to concentrate to ensure that our heart beats and our cells regenerate. All of these things, and many more, take care of themselves without our having to think or do anything at all. This is the miracle of life on earth.

 Beyond the wonder of the natural world, we have the wonder of human-created conditions such as indoor plumbing, electricity, automobiles, airplanes, telephones, and the Internet to name a few. Someone living just a hundred years ago would be overwhelmed by the ease with which we can communicate with people all over the world. Every day, millions of us jump on airplanes and fly to distant locations in a matter of hours. If we have access to a computer, we can read obscure information about any subject, free of charge, at any time of the day or night. And yet, it’s only when one of these miraculous inventions fails that we notice it at all.

When you wake up tomorrow, take time to notice how many things are running smoothly, how many small miracles compose your day. If you wear glasses or contact lenses, as you put them on, take a moment to appreciate the fact that without them, you would be unable to see. Your life would be entirely different if someone hadn’t invented corrective lenses. As you take in your world, you might feel a moment of gratitude for the basic fact that, once again, the sun has risen to illuminate the abundant earth, and the earth’s gravitational field holds you and all that you hold dear in a tight, life-affirming embrace. (Anonymous)

This piece was emailed to me last night by a very special person – Shaundrika!  Thank you. I found it so powerful that I felt compelled to share it and expound on it just a little.

Shaundrika worked with me as a graduate SLP student about two years ago. She touched my life. She and I fashioned some goals for stuttering therapy, but what emerged was the very essence of therapeutic relationship. I was extremely resistant to fluency shaping targets. That became apparent right away. Instead of insisting that I conform, she helped me to look into the windows of my soul and find what really matters (to me).

 This was no ordinary SLP-client relationship. We walked the journey of self-discovery together.

 She was not afraid of stuttering and was not afraid of me, even though at times I was afraid of both. Our relationship epitomized what should occur between two people in any relationship: give and take, authenticity, risk taking and respect.

I learned about who I am as a person who happens to stutter and I believe that Shaundrika learned about the stuttering core.

It is not what is uttered, or heard or seen. It is what is not heard, what is felt and what matters. It is what is inside the stutterers heart and soul. When two people walk that journey together, no matter how short the time spent, the end result can’t be taken for granted.

It is special. It is important. It is life affirming. It transcends the therapy room. It is the power of stuttering.

5 Responses to "The Things We Take for Granted"

Wow! Those were great and powerful words from both of you! Thank you for reminding me of what’s important in life :o)

First of all—completely unexpected and made my day—it’s close to 9pm and I just finished writing up my therapy logs for today and planning my sessions for tomorrow, playing catch up to all the work I’ve missed and this post bought a smile to my face. No not because it was all about me hehe—but because it just affirms why I set out to be a speech language pathologist- it’s not about me but about changing my clients and their families lives hopefully for the better.
I think my individual journey at St. Rose Grad School put me in several situations where I met an array of people some quite like myself and some very different. I believe since reading 5 People You Meet in Heaven that each person we meet can affect us profoundly and every situation that we are in- teaches us something new about ourselves and the world. A relationship, in the truest sense of the word and purest form means relating to another. Typically when people say they can relate to someone it’s that they have things in common or have a similar way of thing. I’ve always felt that a relationship is finding ways to make ideas that seem different come together. I think the reason our therapeutic relationship worked so well is that I didn’t want to change who you were or even the fact that you stuttered. I wanted to give you the tools to feel more comfortable and confident in your own skin (stuttering and all). I knew that I could not change you but I learned a very important lesson working with you—- that the only way to have a positive relationship/rapport with my clients is that I would have to change my role as the therapist. I learned that I would have to create a trusting environment so that you would feel as if I was worthy to take that journey with you and believe that I knew what I was doing. I think we realized that neither of us were experts about stuttering and that we had to learn about it and it was okay that we were exploring that uncharted territory together. I’ve always believed that by accepting people for who and what they are *the good and the bad* that a positive energy surrounding that relationship will be developed. While our encounter at St. Rose was short— I think we both know that it enriched our lives in a very concrete way. I’m glad that now our relationship is outside the therapy room and I can call you a friend. Miss you 🙂

// It is not what is uttered, or heard or seen. It is what is not heard, what is felt and what matters.//

Wow… Love this statement.. Its very true… 🙂

Reflecting on the post & Shaundrika’s email… We tend to take many things for granted without realizing its worth & importance…

And, when when its gone.. we resist the change… And, eventually Move on… But still, we are not sure whether we have realized its influence on us… 🙂


Its good that we can share our honest feelings among people who get it. Hopefully, this will help more people get it.

[…] wrote a post just about two years ago called The Things We Take For Granted. In that post, I wrote this line:  “It is not what is uttered, or heard or seen. It is what […]

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© Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering, 2009 - 2022. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Same protection applies to the podcasts linked to this blog, "Women Who Stutter: Our Stories" and "He Stutters: She Asks Him." Please give credit to owner/author Pamela A Mertz 2022.
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