Tracks In The Dust

A Father's Advice About Learning the Mission of Life

Archive for the tag “Listening”

Asking Questions

I have said it before, in the world of “instant messages” it seems like we are being programmed to provide an “instant response”. That leads to us not thinking before we respond, and not often clearly understanding the meaning being conveyed. My advice to my kids: “Ask questions”.

Where is the Love Question-mark

Maybe it is just a symptom of the speed in which everything happens today, but I don’t see many people asking questions about things. Often it doesn’t even seem that they are listening, perhaps because they are working-up a response.

Recently I was speaking with my son about a great opportunity ahead of him in his life, it seems like the direction he wants to go and the “doors” are opening for him to go on the journey. For him, getting answers to the “why” were still unknown. We can always ask the hard questions, but sometimes they get missed.”Why” is one of the hardest ones to ask in my opinion.

Whether it is a life-changing event or just a simple decision, it takes little investment to just understand things more clearly. It is our right to ask questions, to better understand someone when they talk, to be sure to know where someone is “coming from” before we form an opinion, or make a call on something.

You might even learn something. Listening to what is being said and responding in a question means “dialog” – can open many more options, can make for better understanding that can lead to friendships, or more confidence or just simply a better picture of the world around us.

  • Listen. Don’t take everything at face value.
  • Ask questions. Understand the meaning of things
  • Don’t be in a hurry. It could be an investment in your life worth making.

I am sure there are plenty of times when things can move along without complicating it with questions. But there are as many times (or more I think) when a few minutes may change everything.


No Drama Zone

No Drama ZoneThere are days when it isn’t welcome. The drama and urgency of others hits you square in the head. You just want to leave it alone, let it be something someone else needs to know, someone else needs to deal with.

It’s really not that you don’t care, close family and friends deserve the critical points that make up drama in their lives as much as anyone. We all have those moments, those days, those situations that put drama in our lives.

Sometimes it seems it is self inflicted – we can attract drama in our lives like a magnet.  We even are unaware and unconscious about it coming and are surprised when the drama arrives. Things do go another direction than we expect, things find their ways into our lives that just make things so much more difficult than we are expecting, than we are wanting.

But there are times when our friends and family want to share drama. Even more unexpected than our own, it comes with the needs and wants of their expectations, which sometimes just.. aren’t… yours. You just can’t deal with it and you take a deep breath. Because after all it is a loved one… you have compassion for their plight. You understand your dilemma but it just isn’t something you can deal with at that time. Maybe some other day, but not today.

So then you feel like you don’t care. It tips the scales on the things you are dealing with at the moment, and makes it even worse in some ways because you want to be there for them. But it is that moment when you can not. It feels wrong.

As a person who cares about things (like most of us do), especially your family and close friends… it feels frustrating -yet is probably better for them that they know there are those points in the day, week, month. moment that it just has to be a… NO Drama Zone.

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?

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