Hearing Without Listening

Paul Simon is one of the singer-songwriters that I admire. I see him as a musical poet. In one of his most famous songs, he is proclaiming a life truth –a sad reality! According to his profound observation: “People hearing without listening”. Well, it certainly depicts the reality of human disconnection and explains the misunderstandings occurring between one another.

There are misunderstandings everywhere. Wives often misunderstand their husbands’ good intent, and vice versa. Similarly, children misunderstand their parents. Well, mothers and fathers always misinterpret their children as well. There are turbulences in workplaces due to misunderstandings too. In every society, people simply don’t understand one another thoroughly. What causes all these unnecessary chaos and hurts? One of the culprits is we don’t listen to one another well enough.

What are the general problems of human beings? One of the issues is we don’t know how to listen. The Bible teaches us to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry (James 1:19). On the contrary, in our daily communication with one another, we are slow to listen, quick to speak, and quick to get angry.

Let’s pray that we would improve our listening with one another. Politicians need to listen with humility! Civilians must hear wisely! Spouses should learn how to listen to one another attentively. Parents should listen to their children with love! Out of loving obedience, children should hear what their parents say to them. I am quite sure that most of us would love to live in a peaceful and loving environment – sincere listening is a baby step of achieving it.

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