Tracks In The Dust

A Father's Advice About Learning the Mission of Life

Archive for the tag “Communication”

The Lost Art of Listening

Listening UpIn my daily life at work and at home I have noticed a trend about “listening” .

It seems like a lot of people today have lost the art of listening.

Yes, we all listen to things. The TV, the movies, the music we listen to… we listen to our teachers.mentors, bosses, or spiritual guides and take note of their wisdom (many times to our own chagrin as we find it necessary to help pass the course).  But listening and hearing things can often be different I think.

The lost art of listening, as I see it, is the motion of listening to what someone says and understanding it. Making sure to understand the meaning and the context in which they say it, and better yet understand their personal reason and viewpoint for saying it in the first place.

These days it seems like we don’t take the time. Perhaps it is because we are in so much of a hurry. We move so quickly through our digital lives to meet the goal of accomplishing it – that we often miss what people are really trying to say… in fact we are so busy trying to think about what  we should say next, that we take a sound byte from something to start to respond without really “hearing” what was said. Without acknowledging it.

Perhaps the reason that “texting” has become more of a popular way to communicate. After its a 2 way communication  that requires that each actually reads the statement made in the text message. No need to call and have two way communication that  may certainly require listening.

Sure, maybe the texts aren’t spelled correctly, perhaps they are sound-bytes themselves, but at least they come over just as planned.  Indeed texting doesn’t require actually listening at all.  But there is still something lost in the transfer. The persons inflection and the world of meaning that comes with the tone of it. Of course there is time to consider the response, immediate responses come from the volley of discussion. None needed in texting.

Listening has evolved in so many other ways. In this “surround sound” world we are looking for the thrills and impact of the movies we watch. Instead of dialog, we are looking for stunning sound and special effects.  Driving the beat instead of the message is nothing new, but so often today the music gets lost as we are looking for. It gets lost in the next pop-star to come along. Those artist & musicians that have survived had something more to say… and for those music greats  it is about the “listening”.

So maybe for me, its time to stop and take a listen. To appreciate what people are trying to say with their words. The meaning of it. To take the time to listen to the sounds around me, that surround me in such a much more simple way.  How about you?

Choices for Humankind

All around me I see sadness and anger. People texting, blogging, emailing. calling, talking on the media, ranting on the Internet. They are often frustrated that things just aren’t the way they expect. The picture that they have in their minds-eye of how the world around them should be just doesn’t seem to fit how it is.

Politics, religion, education, finances, what others have and what they don’t have, how things should be bettter-different, more freedom/more restrictions. No matter where it stands there is frustration. Partially there are so many more ways to communicate how someone feels today, social networks, blogs, web-sites designed to sound-off on what seems like thousands of causes. Add the media “news” and “commentary” and you have an elixir for even more sadness, anger and frustration.

Some of the bloggers I share posts with are calling out for “happiness” and kindness and the want and need to be more part of the label “humankind” than the tens of thousands of other labels that everyone seems to want to use. There are so many ways to put labels on someone. Our lightning fast communication to the world seems to demand lightning fast categorization of the things said and the people who have said them.

In the end are human tendencies seem to have lended themselves to generate more sadness, anger and frustration. But that very imperfect humankind that we are, we can still have a choice. That’s the way God planned it. And when we choose to look at things with grace and empathy and understanding, our lives seem to move that direction as well. Some will claim that it is a religious direction (and it is so often as it should be), but it is also something that we can all practice just because we are all looking for a better quality of life. And it needs to be a focus. It requires the effort to be positive, but it can be done. It can fill the negative void that you can leave behind if you desire to.

So it goes, we all have our bad days and our good. We all have the opportunity to spread the kindness of life, the happiness of living, the spirit that God has provided and we can choose to use!  Communicate it every day, the good news (in my faith it is the Gospel). Stay away from the sadness and anger that is so easy to share through all of the communication methods we have today.  They serve to decay your daily living until you are not alive.  I thank God I am alive to share the good news. I have another day to choose to do it. Will you?

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: