Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Listening and Hearing
I have a blissful hour to myself and am in a coffee shop listening to good music and trying to loose myself in the comforts of my laptop. Around me are students with highlighters, people with books, friends talking, people having business meetings. Then over in the corner is a foursome, two men, two women, all grey haired, having coffee. They are all using sign language.
Although I don't know their story (and am dying to), I'm so distracted by them I can hardly enjoy my sinfully delicious beverage. What I am most struck by is how only one of them "speaks" at a time. The other three "listen" with rapt attention. There are lots of nods and smiles, even silent laughs. Can you imagine how different the hearing world would be if people stopped interrupting each other? We are so used to it we don't even get annoyed when it happens to us - we accept it as "normal" to be asked a question and then not have the opportunity to answer without being interrupted, particularly if we're in a group of more two.
This is a particular pet peeve of STM's and so I am extra aware of how badly most people listen. We hear but we don't listen. These people don't hear but they do listen. They must hear so much more that way.
* Photo from http://www.lifeprint.com