Last night I got to the walking trail a little later than expected, so I figured I would have a nice quiet workout with very few people out there with me. Boy was I wrong. It was little league football and cheerleader practice going on in the field in the center of the walking trail. I got to see and hug a few students from my school before I hit the trail. Despite having to wave and speak to people after every lap, it was a good workout and I was feeling good.
On the way to my car, I happen to see a couple of parents who know my son, the track star. They asked about him, and how he was doing in pre-athletics. As I was answering them, they asked another question, before I could even finish what I was saying. So then I began answering the next question, and AGAIN, I was interrupted, to hear a story that was only a smidge relevent to the initial conversation. By this time I’m done, and decide to say my good-byes, because I was getting aggregated.
How is it, that I’m stopped and asked questions and opinions, only to never have my answers or thoughts heard? It was as if they just wanted me to hear them talk. My answers and thoughts, were obviously not important enough to listen to, even though I was unsolicitly asked for them. It really sucks being a voice, in a world that doesn’t listen.
In our culture, where EVERYONE has a platform, by which to say or show or do ANYTHING. Many people use these platforms to promote themselves. I’m not saying that there is a fundamental problem with this phenomenon. For the simple fact that you are reading this right now, is attributed to that fact. Social media, be it through the personality driven Facebook or Twitter, or the aesthetically visual driven Instagram, Snap Chat or Tumblr, or the information driven Word Press, Blogspot or Medium, people are stepping on their corner of the global stage and raising their voices.
Some people are raising their voices to entertain, while others are raising their’s to engage. Some are raising their voices to inspire, while others are raising thier’s to inform. With all these voices talking, who is actually listening? With so many people trying to be heard, how can anyone truly hear?
It is vitally important that we, in the pursuit of building our platforms, and engaging our audiences, not neglect the opportinities to listen. We can spend all our energy trying to out talk and over talk others, and miss the privilege of hearing someone else’s thought, opinions, views, and expressions. We can miss chances to be inspired, informed, engaged, or even entertained, because we are too busy talking ourselves. It can really suck being a voice, in a world that doesn’t listen.
There is an old phrase, that I’m sure you have heard before that says: “God gave you two ears, and one mouth, so you need to listen twice as much as you speak.” There is truth to that statement. We should listen way more that we talk. Perhaps if we would listen, we could find solutions to our issues. Perhaps if we would listen, we could see that we are not alone in our circumstances. Perhaps if we would listen, we could understand that there are many people have far worse things to deal with. Perhaps if we would just listen, we could be encouraged and find joy or peace in what someone else has to say.
I know … at some level we all want to be heard, but this week, let’s make a concious effort to me quiet and actually listen. Let’s not be so self involved that we are blocking others out, simply waiting on our turn to speak.
“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to (respond emotionally).” James 1:19, New International Version.
© 2016 Derek J. Murphy Enterprises, and I AM KINGDOM Publishing, All Rights Reserved.
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