Can You Hear Me Now?

November 19, 2010
Their faces are blank, their eyes are glazed over, and their jaws are dropped so low that a family of owls could roost inside. You feel like you’re having a chat with a brick wall, and you’re pretty close to shutting up and banging your head against it instead of telling it about your trip to Yellowstone. It’s been like this all day: first the kids weren’t listening when you told them to take out the trash and feed Fido; then your husband wasn’t listening when you told him to pick Sandy up at four from ballet, so you had to spend fifteen minutes on the phone with Madame, Sandy’s teacher; and now, just as you finally have some down time, your best friend isn’t listening as you tell her about Old Faithful. You just wish people would zap themselves back to the present instead of spacing out and tuning you out. Don’t we all.
People don’t always listen, and when they don’t, they can miss out. How many times have you been in La La land and came back to reality just in time to hear everybody around you laughing hysterically at a punch line to a joke you didn’t hear?
Listening is a crucial skill to daily life. Students need to listen to lectures from teachers and professors. Kids need to listen to their parents. Adults need to listen to their coworkers and bosses. And it’s even more important than that, listening is what can make a moment a memory. Baby’s first words, your best friend singing a solo in the church choir, the perfect witty little comment poked into the conversation at exactly the right second, or whispered words from a loved one.
And speaking of loved ones, an old friend of mine was talking about her new boyfriend. She said a lot about him (the usual: good looks, a sense of humor, etc.) but one thing truly stood out; he listens to her. That little thing, caring enough about her to actually listen to the words and meanings of her chatter, really impressed me. How sad is that? Being impressed that someone used what was once common courtesy.

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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

Healing_Angel This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 14, 2010 at 6:54 pm
Teachers and parents don't just teach, they help guide us into becoming better people. Good article!  
BriarRose This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Dec. 15, 2010 at 11:39 am

I know, and adults can learn from us too. Knowledge is a gift.




ps. you might like another piece, it's called "I Hear Voices" similar points, but it reads like a poem

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