Your thoughts need attention
"God gave us two ears and only one mouth, which indicates we should listen twice as much as we talk." Source Unknown
Wisdom is not always found in what we say, but in our ability to listen and hear the truth.
Communication and Respect
Of all the species, humanity has been given the most wondrous of gifts - the power of speech. Words allow us to express ourselves more easily; to ask for what we want, and give some explanation as to who we really are. Yet how many people really use this gift to its full advantage?
We are already aware that communication is a great enhancement to life. Since the arrival of telephones, television, and computers, we have never been so equipped with knowledge, or so open to leaning about the different cultures and traditions of people far across the world.
We have television and newspapers, email and mobiles, all specifically designed to keep us "in touch". But, in spite of all this new found technology, we are told that in fact our communication skills are becoming less and less.
So perhaps the big question we need to ask ourselves here is - What exactly does 'keeping in touch' mean?
Is it about watching the latest 'reality programme'?; hearing the pros and cons for another war?; looking in on politicians in combat?; evaluating the misery of the world?. Or is there more to life than the 'chinese whispers' of an over-reactive media in a headlong quest for sales?
The two great attributes of COMMUNICATION and RESPECT walk hand in hand, for the way they are used by governments can make the difference between peace and war. So maybe it is worth occasionally lighting a candle for respect and tolerance between our nations, and considering how you can bring these same attributes into your everyday lives.
If we lose the art of good communication, we lose one of the most essential assets of our life, for everything we say and, more importantly, how we say it has a great affect on others, and hence the way they respond to us.
Good interaction between people is not only beneficial socially, but emotionally as well for, if we can share our problems, it does seem to aid us to think more objectively and helps put our mind at rest. But somewhere amongst it all, have we lost the art of listening?
How easy it is to be too busy, or so eager to get our own point across, that we forget to show interest in what others have to say.
And yet, if we want to be heard, we have to learn how to listen.
The first step in this direction is to learn how to listen to yourself. The world is so full of distractions that we can forget this essential factor. It is not what others think of you that matters, it is how you see yourself.
So maybe you would like to start keeping a diary, which allows you to express how you really feel inside. Write down all the things you have always wanted to say, but perhaps never dared before. These are private thoughts that often hinder true expression in the outside world, but doing this has a way of putting things into perspective.
When we start to look at ourselves honestly, and give a little to the art of conversation, we begin to learn a bit more about our own perception of truth, and how even the strongest of feelings can be expressed with a humility and tact. And it may also be nice to remember to make a few special phone calls every so often, or write some letters with a message of support to those you value - if only just to thank them for being themselves?
As time goes on, you might be surprised to to see what a good affect this has on yourself; how your spirits will lighten, and your words inspire and encourage those around you to express themselves more fully.
The sad thing is, that those who are supposed to be most experienced in the art of communication don't set very good examples. Many politicians behave like highly strung Head teachers or bickering children, and the media is apt to discard or distort anything that doesn't fit into their carefully chosen scenario.
Objective debate, it seems, does not make good television.
So it is really down to us to stop looking for mentors and make our own way into the realm of progressive thinking. Our greatest teachings often come from a healthy exchange of opinion, and many honest realisations can be made in an atmosphere of tact and consideration.
Of course we all have ideas that we are eager to express but, if we really want to get co-operation we need to try to say things in a way that others can hear. Over reactive aggressive words promote anger rather than understanding.
And because we shout louder than someone, it doesn't automatically make us right.
Every word has its own sound, but few of us realise it also has its own shape. Loving words are rounded and full of encouragement ; hateful words are jagged and sharp, and they don't disappear as soon as they are said - they hang around in the minds of those that receive them, and cloud the ability to reason objectively.
True communication is born from listening and respecting another's viewpoint, even if our time is short, or we cannot agree. It comes from our own inner confidence in knowing that what we think matters, and what we have to say is valuable. And most importantly it comes from our ability to express ourselves in a way others are able to hear.
Where we have the Will, we all have the power to change things for the better.
In trust I told my secrets, bared my soul - special thoughts - the reasons "why" for actions taken, good and bad.
You didn't hear me then, my friend, or if you did you soon forgot.
So don't judge me now with words of scorn, lest I should hear you in my sleeping dreams, and send back a whisper on the wind,
"You knew me not...."
All writings © J.Shell 1981 - 2005 (unless otherwise stated). All rights reserved.