The Quiet Practice of Listening

Benjamin - Gainesville, Florida
Entered on February 16, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
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“I believe in a good beer and pupper dogs.” As a son sits listening to his father describe what he would write to this radio segment he listens to what he means not what he says. Listening is what I believe in. When my mother suggested I write for this segment it wasn’t to bloat my ego or to help get me discovered it was because she believed in me. But listening and hearing is not the same thing. Hearing is basic. Emotions such as anger are heard and seen, it is what hurt the person you need to listen for. But sadness and happiness need to be listened to. Did you hear Martin Luther King’s I have a dream speech or did you listen to his feelings of unity and equality? Did you hear the protests of thousands of women as they marched on Washington or did you listen to the pain of repression? This show I believe is a perfect example of listening. People telling their stories, feelings, and ideas and people are here listening and learning that we are not alone on this world, but surrounded by others that have things to say you just need to stop and listen. Go out to a nearby diner or coffee shop and listen to people. People are always talking. Commenting, gossiping, arguing and crying. These are all the same things at the basic form. People want to be listened too. Their feelings to be understood and their hopes acknowledged. To be scream at the top of their lungs that they are here and they are important. You just have to stop and listen, and you can feel humanities voice saying that we are alive. If nothing else think of the first infant you ever came into contact with. Did they speak? Did they tell you that they were hungry? Or did you listen for the deeper meaning behind the screams? And now as you’ve sat reading or listening to this essay I ask you not to hear what I am saying, but listen to the fact that I believe we all have something to say. I just wanted to let you know that you have someone waiting out hear ready and willing to listen to what you have to say.