Monday, June 14, 2010
SPEAKING OR HEARING?
The squeal was almost ear-piercing! I was talking with Philip on the phone Sat. when this horrendous but happy yell drowned out our conversation. Eight month old Thompson was in the back seat tightly buckled. Philip laughed and declared, "he's found his voice!" Evidently this quiet little, pensive, contented baby boy has decided that he's got something to say! No one knows what it is, but it's attention-getting to say the least. No doubt he knows what he's trying to communicate, but it's going to take the rest of us a little while to "hear".
Most of us know what we're trying to say! But, sometimes the actual execution of those thoughts comes out pretty much as baby-talk, pig-latin or "spin". It happens here at the house regularly. It happens in schools, at the workplace, in churches, in Congress, on the TV, etc. I challenge myself continually to listen carefully..... to try to actually HEAR what a person is not verbalizing. It truly does not take a PhD degree but simply time. And the discipline of focus.
Sometimes I ask Honeybuns to repeat what I've just said and when he does a small riot begins. It works the same way in the opposite direction also. Remember that old game, gossip? A person whispers a phrase into the ear of another, that one whispers what he thought he heard to another, etc...and on it goes. The last person playing the game blurts out the phrase and it is usually not even close to the original.
It's fun when it's a game, not so fun when feelings, tasks, or national policies are involved.
Careful to speak, careful to listen! We have one mouth and two ears for a reason. It's twice as hard to hear as it is to spout off some nonsense, a self-serving fib or an inconsiderate barb.
It truly is more noble to understand than to be understood.
Thompson found his voice, I'm hoping that when he's an adult he will find his ears.