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Nobody Listens.

October 22, 2007

Blah blah blah blah blah.

It frequenly feels like that’s all I’m saying. Even scarier though is it often feels like what I’m hearing.

Listening is a lost art. Somewhere amid Facebook, Messenger, TV, and Cellphones we forgot how to listen. We hear, usually enough to come up with something to say in response, but do we listen?

Today I had the privilege of having dinner with some really cool people. We had a number of pauses in our conversation, and I felt a bit of tension during them. In these silences there is a slight awkwardness that happens. The question for me is are these silences awkward or natural? Am I so used to noise that if there isn’t any I have to make it? I think the understanding of silence, once something natural and even beautiful, has been lost to us. With this loss has been the loss of time for reflection, the time to wait after someone has said something to fully digest it and respond.

Apparently Thomas Aquinas was known as the Dumb Ox because when someone said something to him he wouldn’t respond right away. Instead, he would think long and hard and give the perfect response. The response that took everything you said and processed it. I wonder if I’ll ever be able to do that. Would people even give me the chance?

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One comment

  1. I think I know what you mean. In our house group two of us are introverts. I think some people find it odd that we can be sitting in a room before everyone else comes and not say anything- as if we need sound to be comfortable. But we just allow silence to be there. Why not?

    PS: I like the blog, by the way…



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