Thoughts to Ponder
“Give it a thought. Consider every angle. And then speak your mind.
You’ve not been drawn into anyone’s life just to listen.
You’re not here to be quiet.”
This is a different message than what many of us were taught as children. Be quiet, listen, and learn were our daily lessons from both parents and teachers. Those were good lessons to be sure. How can we learn if we don’t listen to others?
A better lesson is to compare the speakers’ words to their actions. That way we will know if they are speaking from their hearts. Are they really saying something we need to learn or as our elders used to say, “… just talking to hear themselves,”?
For many years I thought my job was to listen and obey. Then I learned that I might have an opinion worth speaking. At that point no one could silence me. I talked on and on about anything on my mind. I knew so much and needed to share it. That behavior led to teachers and parents frequently saying, “Sit down and shut up.”
At one job a coworker had a pointed way of making me aware of my behavior. I would start to talk without knowing where her attention was focused. When she realized I was talking, she’d look me in the eye and ask, “You babbled?” Our supervisor was offended by her bluntness, but I knew that she was reminding me to be sure the other person was listening before speaking. I was beginning to become aware that I was a nuisance – to say it politely.
Years later another supervisor told me, “You have two ears and one mouth. Use them in proportion.” He was saying the same thing that the quote says. We must listen, think and consider before we speak. It is important for us to say what is on our minds, but we need to have our thoughts in order first. Only in that way can we effectively share what we know.
It took a while for that message to sink into my brain and begin to transform my communication patterns. I must admit, I still like to hear myself talk, but I do a better job of using my ears and mouth in the correct ratio.
We learn more by listening more. That is not to say we shouldn’t speak up about things that concern us. We must speak whatever is weighing on our minds. If we don’t speak up to right injustice, who will? We have to decide when and where to use our voice or written word. Speaking out on too many issues leaves our message scattered and ineffective. If we speak out in the wrong place at the wrong time we become that nuisance I mentioned earlier. By listening, thinking and considering before we speak, we can discern whether the other person will accept our words.
Thank you for providing this valuable lesson. Help us to use that wisdom in our daily lives.
And, so it is.
* TUT – A note from the Universe, Mike Dooley, September 14, 2016
© by Sharon D. Dillon, October 12, 2016
Sharon D. Dillon, firstname.lastname@example.org, http://energywriter.me “Laugh your way to peace, love and joy” Author of Echoes of your Choices, 2016, available as a paperback or e-book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other online sites.
Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists, Voices of Williamsburg Toastmasters Club.