Have you ever had a conversation with someone and get the feeling that they "hear" you, but aren't paying attention? Very few people know how to listen with more than just their ears.
A true understanding of what a person is saying involves a commitment by a unique individual who does not interrupt, judge or dismiss. My husband, David is one of those rare people who listens with both his heart and his mind. He is able to keep his own counsel and honor requests for confidentiality.
There is a sore need for real listeners in the world today. Both sides of the fence clamor to get their "wise words" in edgewise. The noise is deafening.
When was the last time you saw someone on TV listening with their hearts? It is just not possible because there are producers and executives that value ratings and drama more than compassion or empathy.
The past several weeks have distressed me greatly because of the strident tone being touted as having our "voice". We see it written in blogs, comments on published stories and radio shows and TV shows. If you can type your opinion fast enough, tact and common sense goes out the window. It is not as if someone is going to come to your door and challenge you to a duel over your words. (or will they?)
I have a friend who has listened to me rant and rave over many situations in my life. Her response is one of the most compassionate words that you will ever hear, "What can I do to help?"
It is unrealistic to expect all of us to be friends in this life. However, we can and should, make a decision that our own actions and deeds are to be above reproach, no matter what the circumstances or provocation.
We can have the beginnings of a true conversation filled with grace and dignity, if we choose to listen with our hearts and understand the words that remain unspoken by our fellowman.