Hush! Hush!: Learning To Listen
How many times have you been hushed? I'm sure than more than once in your lifetime. It could have been anywhere from a library to a church. We are taught that there are some places we need to be quiet and that we can't even whisper. I remember attending mass with my cousin during the Holy week. Even though the church was packed with people and it was a large nave you could have thrown a pin and would have been able to hear it. There seemed to be something solemn in the crowd as they quietly waited for the mass to begin.
Seldom people are quiet, when they are it's because their expecting something to happen, not anything, but something meaningful. I am always surprised when I hear an interview during the morning talk shows on radio the person who's conducting the interview and the person who's being interviewed want to talk at the same time. After a while you can't make out what either of them are trying to say. That's how it is when your trying to listen and talk at the same time, at the end of the conversation you will not be able to recall nothing about it.
Something like that happens to me every time I'm trying to tell my mom something, after a while she begins talking herself and just doesn't listen. Now a days we've lost our ability to listen to others. We've just stopped listening. The first thing you need to do when talking to someone is to listen. Not just be there and seem to listen, but actually to listen. To engage with whoever your talking to and give than your complete and absolute attention. I'm sure anyone that reads this will relate to trying to have a conversation with someone in your family and they don't look at you, instead their looking at their smart phone, tablet or any other device. As this happens in my own house it reminds me of Wally (the movie), how everyone talked through their computers. One of the movie scenes that left me a long lasting impression was when everyone in the space shift or craft were cruising as if they were fast running cars down the highway with all the drivers looking towards the front, in their particular case it was sadder because they weren't inside their vehicles but sitting next to each other in moving chairs, not engaging in any conversation with the person next to them. This scene portrays perfectly what's happening today. Sometimes I read posts on Facebook written by a parent to his child (that lives with her) and it surprises me. The oldest of my boys doesn't even have me among his friends on Facebook because he tells me all of the time that we live together and we can talk about whatever we want when we share time together.
We need to step back, take a moment, turn off whatever technology gadget we're using and just talk and listen to each other. We need to hush while we listen and then try to establish a channel of communication with those around us. Why do you think Jesus would ask so many questions, it was a brilliant technique to be able to listen to the compelling stories of the people that surrounded him here on Earth. It's not like when you run into someone you haven't seen in a while, they ask you a polite question and want you to answer quickly so they come move on Don't even think of answering more than a fine, thank you because they'll hit the gas pedal and you will only be able to see their feet as they rush away from you.
What has happened to us? We have lost the ability to not only listen to each other, but to feel empathy on a one on one level. Singer and composer Kani Garcia composed a song several years ago titled "What Happened To Us?", where she pondered what had happened to us as people, as part of a community, as part of our would. As she sang her song there was a part I always remember and it said something like this, "Where did all the things that matter go to? Why can't we just enjoy a relaxed conversation with a friend? What happened with the smile of a stranger?" All rhetoric questions that pointed to no true answers, but those that we deemed necessary to give based on our own morals and ethics.
The next time you listen to someone hushing you, take the time to think about the last time you actually listened and not spoken to a person. A great place to begin with is with your own family. Finally, what else is there to be said, except -I hope you have a great conversation with someone after you take some time to listen how amazing that person is.!!!!-.