Skip to main content

Listening

So, a while back I blogged about escalation, and how one of the causes of escalation is often that each party in a disagreement feels that the other is not listening or does not understand.  Recent events in my life have helped me understand more about the power of listening.

There are certain hymns that have always been very dear to me, and have struck a chord with my heart.  I will quote them here.
I would be my brother's keeper,
I would learn the healer's art.
To the wounded and the weary
I would show a gentle heart
(from "Lord I Would Follow Thee")
Fill my mind with understanding;
Tune my voice to echo thine.
Touch my hand with gentle friendship;
Warm my heart with love divine.
(from "Help Me Teach with Inspiration")
 I have a healer's heart.  I love seeing people make up, become friends, overcome obstacles, heal from wounds.  I love taking care of people while they are convalescing.  I hate being around when people fight.  I hate fighting with people.  I hate discontentment and discord.  I like harmony.  I like love and mutual affection.

My eyes are continually opened more and more to the extreme amount of suffering in the world.  There are so many pressures, so many stresses and anxieties.  There is so much hurt and pain and suffering.  My heart sinks when I learn of it.  It grieves over the damage that is done all around me.  But this emotion does not cause me to despair.  It causes me to redouble my efforts in healing.  It makes me want to amass an army of healers to go out into the world and remedy the hurt.

To listen is a powerful thing.  It is an ennobling thing.  To hear the thoughts of another person's mind is amazing.  To feel the emotions of a fellow human being is the closest thing to transcendental that exists.  To listen and to feel.  Not just to hear the words, but to understand them.  To know the meaning that is being conveyed by them.  It is a beautiful thing.  To see into another person's heart, and to empathize.  To say "I understand what you're feeling.  I know how that is."

I have been surprised at how much I am personally enriched and enlivened by listening to other people.  By experiencing life through their eyes.  I can be a more complete, more understanding person because of it.  I can love more deeply, I can have more compassion.  I can have more understanding and appreciation of other people.  I recommend listening.  Listen to someone.

Popular posts from this blog

What's a gainer?

If you haven't already done so, I would suggest reading my previous post before reading this one.  It's sort of an introduction and gives the motivation.  Also, by way of disclosure, this post is not sexually explicit but it does touch on the topic of sexuality and how that relates to the subject at hand.

So, what is a gainer?  I'll relate, as best I can, the experiences I have gone through myself to help answer the question.  I remember when I was a young boy--perhaps around 6 or 7--I would have various fantasies.  Not sexual fantasies, just daydreaming about hypothetical situations that I thought were interesting or entertaining.  I had many different fantasies.  Sometimes I would fantasize about becoming very muscular, sometimes about becoming very fat.  
These fantasies varied in degree of magnitude and the subject of the fantasy.  Sometimes I myself would change weight--I would become muscular or fat.  Other times, I would do something to make other people fat or musc…

The scientific method vs the religious method

I find it interesting when people cite the fact that science keeps changing as a reason to disbelieve it and to believe instead in the "eternal" doctrines taught by some church or other.  Let's examine why science keeps changing.  Here's the scientific method.

Develop a hypothesis (this means "have a belief").Design an experiment to test the hypothesis.Conduct the experiment.Determine whether the hypothesis is believable based on the results of the experiment. This is why science keeps changing--because people notice flaws in it and correct them.  People once thought the solar system was geocentric, but now know that it's heliocentric.  How did this happen?  By using the scientific method.  Scientists are willing to admit that they're wrong.  They're willing to give up a bad idea when they see evidence that it makes no sense.  Contrast this with the religious method (simplified version). Have a belief.Look for evidence to support that belief.Ignor…

Cancel the gym

After I went to the gym this morning, I pulled in to the McDonald's drive through.  While waiting for my food, I played out in my mind a possible conversation I might have with someone concerning just this.  In fact, I have had many real conversations of similar nature.
"How was your morning?"
"It was good.  I went to the gym.  Then I grabbed a late breakfast at McDonald's on my way to work."
"Won't that cancel out?"
"Cancel what?"
"Going to McDonald's after the gym.  Won't that undo all the work you just did?"

I understand the humor.  I laugh about it.  It's funny.  And I think humor is an important thing, and that we should all laugh a little bit more and be offended a little bit less.  And so I write this not up-in-arms, but in the attempts of perhaps reaching some of those who literally believe this line of reasoning.

To the person who asserts that eating "cancels out" going to the gym, I ask just this…