To hear what isn't being said

8 thoughts on “To hear what isn't being said”

  1. I read yesterday in James 1: Be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to wrath. Listening is hard, even if you’re silent. Kudos to you for a clean kitchen, and a respectful conversation.


  2. This is such a beautiful and awesome post. Really listening to others about their views can be SO hard. But, I think it is worthy. I learned this when I moved from one area of the US that was a particular way to the extreme at times… to Vancouver Canada, which I thought would be my savior and I would be surrounded with people like me. But then I realized that the people at the other end of the extreme could be close minded and irritating too. So, I realized that the best way to try to understand those with different values was to try to look at where they come from, what their life is like and what leads them to be think as they do. And I have found that it helps me to understand a lot more than I did before.

    But this really listening thing with political foes, I need to get on that… that’s good.


  3. It cheers me to look at your clean kitchen too. I was also cheered to see my friend’s kitchen sparkle as we chatted last night (my own kitchen is, regrettably, not currently in the clean club). During which I was thinking about this really listening business, although I had not yet read your most perfect post yet. Because, while I quite enjoy her company, she was saying things that didn’t really make sense to me, with my differing viewpoints and personality. Things that seem to be ending her marriage, things that will make everyone blame her, and will make some people despise her. Things that are hurtful to her husband, whose company I also enjoy. And I was thinking, can’t you just change? It would be so much simpler if you would not think or feel this way. If your journey of self-discovery did not entail discovering this about yourself. But how can you look at a friend and ask them not to feel what they feel, or not to be who they are? I decided it was most important to just listen and not try to decide what was right or wrong or what should happen or not happen. Just to listen to her calming voice in the middle of the night as her small hand wiped the white cloth back and forth, back and forth, until every surface was gleaming.

    As far as the more political aspect, it was interesting to have everyone in the household home on election night, which meant one lone dissenter from the prevailing views. At first I thought it might be strange, like how embarrassing if our candidates lose, or how can we celebrate properly if they win without being offensive? But actually I decided it was a good thing, to only be able to speak about the election civilly. To have to state a conviction in a logical, polite sentence rather than just damning the bastards you don’t agree with. It made me think maybe I should watch election results with “the other side” more often.


  4. I have been heartened by other whispers of the same thing. Time to listen. Reminds me of one of Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Seek first to understand, then to be understood.

    Now that the election is over, let’s hope we can begin a reconciliation.

    Lovely post.


  5. Ginger, Hope, Oreo, Lorelei, Joe, Nicole and hhb, thank you so much for these comments. The whole week since I wrote this post has been filled with back and forths with those who believe differently from me, from gun control to presidential candidates to public postings on money and religion and politics. I challenge myself to get better at conversations about all of the above. (Not easy.)


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