Listening to each other
politicians and a goodly proportions of our population spend more
time complaining about the delivery of the message than they ever
spend listening to it. Nothing is being communicated because we are
all looking for faults in the way the other guy said it.
Seems to me that here in the USA we need to make the effort to hear
what the other is saying rather than fuss about its delivery system.
For myself, struggling to internalize St. Benedict's teaching on
humility, I know this means I have to learn to listen much better than
I do, especially when I don't care for the tone, the vocabulary etc.
It's like I have to get over my fine self and be attentive to the
other person. To concentrate on the how, rather than the content strikes
me as an essentially selfish, self-centered act. Surely as Christians,
we are here to serve, not to be served. I wish I could say this came easily or naturally to me. But it does not. Please pray for me in this struggle to learn to hear.
Certainly, there is the language of violence, of abuse, and I don't like it either. I have refused to engage in conversation with people I felt were deliberately using political incorrect language. Is that appropriate? Is that teaching by example?
And then are those genuinely struggling to make their voices heard, to express their needs or their opinions who employ broad sweeping generalizations. Is it right to criticize them for that instead of discerning what they want to say? I think rather than dismiss them for their communication style, perhaps humility requires us to ask them questions. " Did you mean?" "Have I heard you correctly?"
Oh dear, yes. This might make it a lengthy conversation. It might
Or, let's stop shooting the messenger.