If there is any wisdom running through my life now, in my walking on this earth, it came from listening in the Great Silence to the stones, trees, space, the wild animals, to the pulse of all life as my heartbeat.
In some ways, technology is an unfortunate thing. “Social media” has led us to believe that we can have a social life by conversing through text, email, status updates, and tweets. I will be the first to admit that when I need my “alone time,” I would rather send a quick email than make a lengthy phone call. It’s more efficient and let’s me share what I need to.
The problem with e-response, however, is that it doesn’t create a dialogue. I assert that bec/ it leaves out one very important aspect of conversation–listening.
Recently, I was sent an email that shared opinions and gave commands. It was not information that I really needed to respond to; rather, it seemed that the person just needed me to listen to what she was saying. My response? No response.
Well, that didn’t set well with her because we’ve all been reinforced by social media that the only way to demonstrate listening is by giving a response. Hrmph. What happened to the thoughtful facial expressions or gentle touch on the arm that really need no words? And then there’s the option of giving a response which will be misinterpreted or not the answer anticipated by the sender.
Sometimes, the best answer is no answer.
Nature has a lot to teach us about the importance of listening. I guess that’s why I find it so therapeutic to step outside when I need work through issues. The tomatoes just hang there respectfully as I share my latest frustrations on raising a teen, and the blueberries simply bob in the breeze as I question what life holds for me. Being in creation has reminded me of what it means to be a good listener.
We can’t avoid emails and e-chat–they do connect us to the people we love. Perhaps, however, we can start a new trend. Rather than having to-provide a lengthy response, we can simply note, “I’m listening,” and share the wisdom that only comes through Great Silence.