Listening As A Discipline

A woman tweeted a rant that was retweeted a few times which made it to me. She was rebelling against all those perpetually perky, optimistic people—you know, the life gives you lemons, make lemonade types. She said (I am paraphrasing, I lost the tweet) don’t tell her to make the best of this situation of staying home to learn a language, start a business, teach the kids college math, write a book, and bake glorious desserts.

Yesterday I was on a conference call with about 35 other people. We went around and mentioned our status. They ranged from very rural to city and from America and Europe. And our current experiences varied, even though given the nature of the work we all do, we’re all busy working.

I’ve noticed. Some people adapt and carry on. Some people are fearful. Some are cautious. A few rebel against the constraints and actually want to go out like “normal” (and catch the virus and die, but I digress).

It’s a little like school where you have the perky kids who sit in the front of the class and always raise their hands to answer and ask the obvious questions to please the teacher. And the majority of kids just trying to learn and get by. Then there are the kids who cut as many classes as possible to sneak a cigarette break.

Listen to where people are. For some, they need reproving. Some need understanding (just listen). Some need encouragement. Some don’t need encouragement—they need to be reminded that not everyone is as perky as they.

Listen and strive to understand. God will meet each person through the channel of a listening and empathetic friend. Be one of those.

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