The Fine Art Of Listening

As an expert listener, it is always shocking that more people are not subject to this practise.  That is not to say that the mind has shut off completely while another is speaking, quite the opposite.  Waiting to jump in with personal opinions is rare yet sharing amusing notions does frequently rear its entertaining head.  The thing about a humourous quip is that one must listen carefully to the other person in order to point out the irony or absurdity that will bring a smile.

As a proponent of such, listening and really hearing what others have to say is second nature.  Now, jokes are not always appropriate (although I am a stickler for ‘screw ’em if they can’t take a joke’) I understand the subtleties and sensitivities.  These days, it is getting harder and harder to actually bring a smile to another’s face.  Everything has to be taken so seriously.  Wrong!

With emails, texts, blogs and social media one is forced to designate a funny comment with ‘LOL’ in order for the person on the other end to understand that the written words are not meant to be taken literally or solemnly.  This drives me crazy.  (Also believe if you have to tell people ‘it’s a joke’, it is not much of a joke).

Knowing that writing does not allow for the changes in tones or voice recognition and all its nuances, there is something to say for not being so stringent.  Yes, there is harmful bullying that goes on in cyberspace but if one was to laugh in the face of such hateful attacks it would not only lessen the power given to the bully, it will also make them appear foolish.

I comprehend that young children being scared by an older kid in a clown costume can be traumatic but laughing it off takes away from that ‘trauma’ and teaches the young child that they are not victims.

Hear my message correctly, it is better to listen than speak, it is better to love than hate and it is better to laugh than fear.  All these ideas can be taught and learned.  We should probably start with the adults.  (They seem to need it most).

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