Another Piece of Humble Pie, Please

My wife told me that I don’t listen. I believe her. I work at listening but I usually discover that I have fallen far short of having heard what was said. There are several reasons for this. I’m going to list the reasons I can think of in order to help me remember them and avoid them in the future.

  1. We only hear what we want to hear. We ignore the things that we don’t want to hear and the things that we do want to hear stand out. We remember the things that we do want to hear. We forget those that we don’t want to hear.
  2. We are just waiting for our turn to talk. This is a common one. It is prevalent among people that think they know more about a subject than others do. We wait until the other person shuts up so that we can enlighten them with our superior knowledge.
  3. We interrupt people before they finish. This is a symptom of not paying close attention to what the other person is actually saying. Since we have no clue what they are getting at, it is no surprise that we have a hard time knowing when they are finished trying to get it through our thick head.
  4. We get distracted when someone is trying to tell us something. We aren’t interested in what they have to say or, we are more interested in something else that captures our attention than we are in what they are trying to say to us.
  5. We only listen to people whose opinions we agree with. This results in the so called “echo chamber” effect that most of us first encountered this election season. This mistake is probably responsible for the outcome of the recent presidential election.

We’ve got to start listening to what everybody has to say, with respect. It is the only way to mend the divide in this country. We really are stronger together. Fear is a killer. It causes unnecessary stress. It eats away at the good things in life and leaves behind a rotting corpse.

Love really is the answer, no matter what the question. Love and respect. We don’t conquer our enemies by adopting their heinous practices. We win their hearts and minds by listening to what they have to say with respect. We don’t have to agree with them, just acknowledge their right to have their say.

Sweet dreams, don’t forget to tell the ones you love that you love them, and most important of all, be kind.