Sour Grapes and Saddle Sores
Expectancy in Listening September 11, 2008
There is an old Mutt and Jeff joke, Jeff says to Mutt "You arenâ€™t listening to me". Mutt answers, "No. I am not, I am too busy figuring out what I am going to say next."
In closing months of the 2008 election in November, a lot of speeches are being delivered, a lot of political platitudes are being heard. All that information is overwhelming to the ears and the mind. We can use all that talking to our benefit if we will work on our listening skills. We all know that political speeches contain platitudes. Platitudes are ideas that sound good, but the amount of truth in each one depends on the listener.
One of the interesting parts of our human interaction is the platitude. Most of us speak the truth as we understand it. Politicians are noted for flowery speeches full of all sorts of ideas that to intend to persuade the general public that their words are the best and the smartest. What I am saying is that every word a politician says during an election year needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Listening to a party leader deliver a speech, I find that each speaker makes statements about the opposition party and its candidates. I have to ignore those negative words and listen to statements that the speaker makes about the vision of his party, the actions that will be taken and the changes that will come to pass. There is no doubt in my mind that the persons we vote into office will make changes, no matter who is elected.
Another matter needs to be examined just here, that is the listening to fellow voters as they express their opinions about the politics of the day. The discussions that results in disagreement, usually are efforts to persuade others to vote for a particular candidate. Now, that brings me to my concern about our listening habits.
Let the other person finish their sentences. Do not assume that you know what is being said. You will learn about that person and the thoughts they hold by hearing them out. I believe that by letting a person complete an idea they will be amenable to listen to what have you to say.
Donâ€™t feel like you have to be right all the time. There is no harm in being wrong. You can learn from agreeing to disagree or from acquiring a new way of looking at a candidate or an issue.
When disagreement occurs, ask questions like, "Who do you believe?" or , "How did you come to that decision?" and listen to their whole answer. Remember that this is a conversation so insist on sharing your thoughts and intentions. Remember conversation involves, "I said and they said."
Remember that "life goes on", the election ends but your relationship with other folks does not. The "day after" comes and that dayâ€™s work needs to be done. Because, "You need all the friends you can find", some of your friends may never agree with you, but you need them anyway. So "Listen Up!"
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Created by. Last Modification: Saturday 13 of September, 2008 17:46:22 UTC by .