This I Believe

Audrey - Plainsboro, New Jersey
Entered on February 7, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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In so many bedtime stories, problems are solved by communication and cooperation between people. It is very common during a family dinner, where children discuss school, and parents speak of work. But when the children try to speak to the parents, they do not listen. They are too busy in their own lives to know about others. When the children try to speak up, the parents are too arrogant to take their advice, thinking they are too childish and inexperienced. Children speak among children, and parents speak among adults. Communication between parents and children is brittle and short lived. Their lives are otherwise silent from each other.

I wish our communication with others were not so brief. Many people feel hurt or rejected by the small snips of conversation. Many people want to speak up and be heard, but no one seems to listen. Their words are just a passing breeze, “in through one ear and out the other”. The song ‘The Sounds of Silence’ says “People talking without speaking, People hearing without listening,…”. People like to talk, but not many like to listen. In the past, there may have been a time when things were the other way around, but nowadays, that is just the way things are.

Various times at school, I try to talk to a friend. Talking about anything would be fine, but once the conversation begins, the topic starts to crumble; all at once people are talking over me, and I am being ignored. It is rather depressing not having many people who you can talk to and have them listen. Those rules in first grade of “raise your hand before speaking” and “speak one at a time” do not seem to exist anymore. Just having a friend pass in the hallway during a bad day and hearing her say “hi”, greeting her in return, just for a moment, can brighten my day. It is not much to ask for, yet it is encouraging and enjoyable.

It can really make someone feel bad if when they speak, the listener interrupts them halfway through and says that they were not listening at all. “Huh?” “I’m sorry, what did you say?” Those phrases are quite common, but listening to them day after day can really make someone feel lonely and unwanted, a ‘nobody’ in society. It makes them feel unconfident and timid. Usually, parents are supposed to always have time for their kids, but they are the ones who use those phrases most often. It would help if they would quit being so arrogant and listen once in a while.

By speaking with one another, listening to each other, a strong bond forms. By hearing each other out, a friendship blooms, one that can last a lifetime. If parents and children spoke together, they could have a better understanding of each other. If we all opened our ears, we could solve problems together.

I wish people would listen to each other more. If that happened, perhaps people could be happier, and friendship could spread. If people would listen, perhaps the society and welfare of those in need could improve. If somebody out there could hear me out… maybe, just maybe, things could get better, for everybody.