This morning, I decided that it had been long enough and I would just sit and write. It is early, about 6 am. The back door is open and I am listening to the sounds of summer, the sounds of summer nights specifically. The chorus of tree frogs and crickets make a symphony that is intriguing and pleasant. I wonder about those small animals and whether they ever think about who is hearing them, or if, indeed, they care.
This leads me to thinking about life in general and the sounds that we, as humans, make in our daily lives. We certainly know that others are hearing the noises we make, but are they listening? As I pondered this, it led me to think about how important listening is and how one seldom finds another person who really listens to us. When most people listen to us, they listen with the idea of how they will respond and turn the conversation around to them.
I met someone recently who is a good talker. He has story after story and they are usually humorous. I listen, giving him and his story my attention. Some I laugh at, and some give me a reason to respond. He is courteous enough to give me some time to respond but as soon as I am finished, he goes on with his discourse as though I have not even been in the room. This is a person who hears but does not listen.
There are times we all need to talk, to get things out of ourselves so we can deal with whatever problem we are facing. But, there are also times that we need to listen, not only to the words, but to the pain or excitement behind the words so that we can respond in a way that the speaker needs to be responded to in order to process the event in their lives that they are discussing.
Needless to say, the friend who constantly talks and pays no attention to anything I say, is one that I have found myself paying little attention to myself. That is unlike me and it is rare that I have this kind of one way conversation. Most of my friends are very generous when they listen to me. They allow me to talk, undisturbed, and seem genuinely interested in what I am saying. I think that might be because when they speak, they know that they have my full attention. I am really listening.
So, as I listen to the sounds of the summer morning, I can’t help but wonder how many of those frogs and crickets listen to each other and how many simply make the noises they are supposed to make with little thought of who is listening. I only know that by listening to them, my day has started out much better.
Something To Ponder