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The power and generosity of looking someone in the eye

Source | Linkedin | Brian Grazer | Oscar and Emmy-winning Producer, Best-selling Author

Growing up with undiagnosed dyslexia (in the 1950s, they didn’t even know to label it as such), I could barely read. My report card showed Ds and Fs, and I felt a lot of shame.

To avoid being called on in class, I would drop my pencil or fake a need for the bathroom. I would do anything to avoid the embarrassment of not knowing the answer. Kids teased me, and teachers just assumed I wasn’t smart.

My grandma Sonia was my savior. She encouraged me to be curious and ask questions. So, I turned to people — rather than text — to learn about the world around me. I focused on listening intently in class and reading their gestures to absorb what they were saying. I would see my teachers after class whenever I didn’t understand the lesson. At home or out, when I would come across someone that piqued my interest (or gave me the time of day), I would ask questions incessantly. People became my textbooks.

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