Slideshow image

"Good Listening"

Summer is a great time for listening—to nature, neighbor, friend, family, music—the list is endless. It promotes "good listening."  The art of good listening is a healthy habit to craft.

In 1997, one of the most read books about listening hit bookstore shelves, Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, A Young Man and Life's Greatest Lesson.

A reflection on visits that author Mitch Albom made to his dying mentor-friend, Morrie, the book is actually about being a ‘listener.’  The following book-review offers:

Maybe it was a grandparent, or a teacher, or a colleague. Someone older, patient, and wise, who understood you when you were young and searching, and gave you sound advice to help you make your way through it.

For Mitch Albom, that person was Morrie Schwartz, his college-professor from nearly twenty years ago.’

The book demonstrates a tool for becoming a good listener in taking the opportunity to truly listen.

Think about all those political debates we hear during election campaigns! Think about all the eruptions and interruptions coming from other panelists when the speaker “has the floor!” In fact, most of us are too busy formulating responses, rather than truly listening;  but it is just not good practice to rehearse answers while the other is speaking.

Significantly, a by-product of today’s technologyis that we are losing the ability to listen.

We are being trained to become ‘broadcasters’ rather than ‘receivers.’ (However, an apparent ‘golden rule of cell phone-use’ is to never, never, never, ever check or answer the phone when sitting with a client, parishioner, friend, or family. Sadly, several of us have subjected others to this lapse of respect.)

But our hope is that our Lord Jesus was a great listener! He heard what others missed, even among large crowds. And, Jesus IS  a great listener! He is always open to receiving the prayers of our hearts. May we take time this summer to share our hearts with the Lord. Following His example, may we take time to honour another with good listening.

Archdeacon Brian+

Perhaps, more from these ‘interviews with Morrie’ will pop up in the next few weeks. I do have a replacement book on order to be part of my summer reading. (Replacement because I ‘downsized’ it out in error, much as my father once “weeded out the onions” in efforts to be a good and supportive young father!)