Here’s three ways we could improve on our listening this New Year:
- Shut Up – We talk a lot and don’t listen much. We presume what others are saying before they even finish. That’s why a film like Carnage is so frustrating. Who wants to spend time with people who can’t listen to anyone including themselves? (I hear the play was excellent. Always need to remember that books, movies, plays, TV have similarities, but each are more suitable for certain stories and formats than others)
- Stop Listening – We listen to the wrong things. Silly emails. Biased political ads. Unknowledgeable friends. Easy A was a fantastic (literary based) telling on the ease at which people will believe what they want or hope rather than what is the truth.
- Start Talking – The driver in Drive seemed to be an excellent listener. It would have been nice to hear more what he had to say. He fulfilled part of Shammai’s famous dictum in Pirke Avot 1:15 – “say little and do much, and receive everyone with a cheerful countenance.” Not much of a cheerful countenance though.
Listen more, listen right, shut up more, but sometimes, say something. Conflicting advice for the month of Elul.