Listen to Understand

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”  Stephen Covey – Author, (7 Habits of Highly Effective People)

I recently heard the song lyrics, “In a world full of noise, listen.”

This really struck me as over the weeks and months my mind has been racing around, trying to decide how to respond to and weigh-in on everything that has been going on. Yet, I refrained as I have not wanted to add to the noise. There are so many opinions and so much passion right now, it seemed like a dangerous quicksand trap to step into the discussion. Too many voices in an exchange is like throwing a stone into an already turbulent sea; you may see the splash, but it will not make a true impact on the storm. Do not doubt that I have thoughts and opinions raging in me, but I will listen instead, for if I were to speak with that rage, I would only contribute to the noise. 

There’s an old adage that we have two ears and one mouth so that we will listen twice as much as we speak. I would ask that we listen together. Listen to learn, listen to understand, pause to think and not to respond. Sometimes my focus can be so intent on how I should reply to something, that I fail to consider if I fully understand the situation, or if I have completely formed a sound opinion.  

The writer of the book of Ecclesiastes said that there is a time to speak and a time to keep silent. Words matter; each one has value, and how we use them is important. Personally, I will hold mine, until they can work for good. Please do not mistake my silence for compliance. 

Brevity is the soul of wit, therefore I shall be brief and shall not waste any more words.

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