I selected the truisms and memes for this series on kindness in September, put them in a file in sequence, and upload the new one each day. I mention this because in a wonderful bit of synchronicity, one of my friends (Hi, Evi!) posted this very saying on Facebook just the other day - it may have even been yesterday. How cool is that?
So here we revisit the art of listening. Really listening. A true active verb situation. We listen with more than our ears. We listen with our hearts, our minds, and our eyes as well. True communication is more than waiting for our chance to talk.
It is election year for President here in the States (in case you live on an uninhabited island or under a rock and never listen to the news or read the headlines and trending topics online). Roger the Tall One and I have studiously watched the 'debates' between Clinton and Trump. They are so unbelievably rude to one another. Constantly interrupting and talking over one another. Slinging barbed words and verbal arrows. Goading and bullying and belittling. Everything communication and truly listening is not. They did not even listen to reply. There was no point-counterpoint. This was not civil discourse. I am not sure what it was. And one of them was just as bad as the other.
Listening to understand. Hearing the emotion behind the words. Feeling the joy, bewilderment, excitement, heartache, anticipation of another of humankind and forging an emotional and intellectual connection. Seeing the beauty of the revealed person as souls are bared and hearts are opened.
What a precious and fragile gift you are to me. When you trust me with your thoughts, ideas, dreams fears it is a sacred act. My promise to myself , and to you, is that I will endeavor to be kind and conscientious with you as I accept the gift of your words, and not use them as a launching pad for a monologue that is all about me me me.
I will do my Ellen best to listen to understand.