Saturday, July 17, 2010

How Do Your Hear Others?

This forum is designed to get people to think and today I want to ask a hard question. How do you hear or respond to another person's needs? A neighbor's beekeeping activity, after being asked not to do it, ended in the tragic loss of the next door neighbor's dear pet dog. Africanized, the bees swarmed the dog and it was stung over 200 times. Even after being asked not to pursue this interest in the neighborhood, the request was ignored and now the trust of these neighbors has been fractured, perhaps beyond repair. I think of the many times we make a request of someone we love and ignored, it ends in tragedy that could have been averted. Marriages, parent-child relationships, neighbors, countries. Arrogance is the deaf ears friend and reasoning and respect's enemy.

Sometimes it is so easy to become so focused on what we want or a mission that we must achieve that we lose sight of the affect it has on the people around us. The world suffers this malady and if we cannot even begin in a neighborhood, how can we ever live peacefully together? Certainly, arrogance is a quality that is hard to live with or next too. I am certain that in my own case, I have suffered moments of arrogance and it has left its mark on people I care for dearly. Not listening to another person's concern or insight can be not only hurtful, it can even be deadly as in the case of the beekeeper and his neighbor.

Perhaps it does us all a tremendous service to listen to others whom we share life with. It is a kindness and a respect we show others when we take the time to listen to what they have to say and to regard their true need seriously. As a child, I was not taught to do this and it took me a very long time to learn how to honor another person's perspective or request. Ego and arrogance are crutches we can no longer afford to walk with. Hearing what another says does not necessarily mean acquiescence. It means weighing the interests of everyone. Most times there is a common ground that can be long as we are not stuck on getting our way.

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