Listening….

Actually listening to someone is an art form which seems to be lost in our country if not the whole world. One of the definitions of the word “listening” is  the act of hearing attentively. In other words it means hearing and giving some credence to what is being said.

It seems that so many in this world, particularly in our political conversations just don’t listen. When we talk politics with each other it is usually two one-way conversations. Like two ships passing in the night the is little awareness of what is being said. It seems that when I get into political conservations on this blog I receive a number of belligerent comments from the other side of the political spectrum. They often have a long litany of reasons why I am wrong about how I see the world.

Just recently I received such comments for a couple of different sources. Both stated pretty much the same reasons as to why they hate the current resident of the Oval office and why welfare is an evil thing that must be purged from our country. I spent a good deal of time address these issues one-by-one and tried to give a nuanced answer to why we should not drop the safety net from our country as the person was adamantly advocating.  I gave several heartfelt examples of people who were helped by various aspects of welfare and then went on to be productive citizens. I quickly got a reply back that didn’t address anything I had said but continued to do the same unconnected ranting about freeloaders and people getting things they haven’t earned. It was very obvious that the person had not even bothered to try to listen to what I said. With that fact the commentor is now one of the few who are on the “straight to the trash” list of this blog.

When we stop listening we stop growing and when we stop growing we are destined for a stagnant world. We all need to again take up the art of listening. We need to pull our iPods out of our ears and start actually hearing what the other person says.

But what do I know….

2 thoughts on “Listening….

  • Hi Rod, I am persuaded after many honest attempts of trying to openly discuss political topics with friends who are of a different viewpoint that it is almost worthless to try. From recent experience, I feel that there VERY few people that are able to have an open-minded discussion.

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  • Actually Mary in some ways I agree with you that it is “almost” worthless. The almost word is the key. I do believe that no matter how they treat you if you are respectful of the person having the opposite viewpoint that it is possible to “nudge” them ever so slightly away from their current worldview. In other words take the high road and do a little nudging. We can’t hope to break the current gridlock without much effort. I your opponent won’t make the effort then you must do it for him/her.

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