Listening: The Highest Form of Love
Consider the rhetoric heard during any political ad season, whether prior to a municipal, midterm, or presidential election. Bear in mind, I live in Texas, where the laws of the old Wild West resonate throughout as “Texas values.” My ears are assaulted with a myriad of attack ads from the right and left. There is constant chatter about why one person is corrupt and wrong for the job and another one is a perfect candidate and will make everything right. These ads are great examples of what it means to have a one-way flow of words with no attempt at dialogue, no possibility of listening to each other.
While attack ads represent one extreme, it seems we all struggle with being able to listen to each other. I often violate the rules of listening. One simple rule to follow is: When others are speaking, be silent. I have a bad habit of finishing people’s sentences. Also, I often found myself saying to my husband, “Yes, dear, I’ve heard you say that a thousand times.…” But did I really? Perhaps I presumed I knew what he was going to say. Was I preparing my usual rebuttal before I even heard all of his words?
These questions raise key issues: How can we listen better to other people? How can we listen better to the still small voice of God?
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