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Do you care about those folks you are seeing in zoom videos ?

If so , what do you know about them ?

What did you say? OK , so I’m not saying I have this listening thing down.

Think about compassion and cacophony. Rightfully so , we’re hearing a lot of discussion around compassion. Yet , as we listen to the news and listen to people’s opinions , I can’t help but think of the word cacophony , which is a series of sounds that are harsh and discordant.

When thinking more about listening and things I hear , I am reminded of a little used word called euphony , which refers to sounds that are pleasing and harmonious. Why can’t we have both compassion and euphony rather than what sounds often like a cacophony of sound and results (alliteration , be damned) .

Do we ask about other folks? These days it seems easier to tweet or check out their Facebook page or assume by what they wear or say and perhaps a second hand conversation that we know who they are and what they think.

When you think about it , compassion and cacophony are like driving a car with one foot on the gas and the other on the brake at the same time. They fight each other and no progress is made. In fact you stand still and go nowhere.

Another alliteration is awareness and action. There’s nothing like a good AA meeting and behaviors which results from that. Creating awareness and implementing actionable solutions is what most of us are pursuing .

My point is to simply acknowledge this is going on and those of us who are not listening and understanding are perpetuating the situational scenario. We can change the conversation and build our knowledge, compassion, awareness and convert that to action by working toward euphony or pleasing and harmonious results.

It’s not always agreeing, acquiescing or submitting , but listening to understand another viewpoint and perspective while staying true to our values. I’d love to think we can all get along , but that’s not likely . If you find yourself in a one-way conversation with someone who doesn’t care to understand you or your view , remember you might want to walk away, as a wise man once said, “never argue with a fool.“

I was listening to a podcast discussing the health benefits of mushrooms which I have never thought of before and it was facilitated by a gentleman from Finland( huge purveyor of mushrooms). In the process , he was talking about what they did as a part of the culture and customs that is called Lika. Essentially, having a cup of coffee or mushroom tea with a person they didn’t know well to learn more about that person , translated we could say , “respect that person.“

Perhaps , we can take a lesson from what we might have heard from our parents growing up , “don’t speak until you’re spoken to.” In this case, once someone speaks to you and you understand their position , then it’s your turn. Just a thought .....

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I hear you. Really listening to understand another person’s viewpoint and challenging our currently held beliefs would be a good place to start. Most times we listen only to sources that echo and amplify our existing opinions. This seems especially true when our opinions are laced with emotion as so often is the case nowadays. I am often guilty of listening just long enough when someone else’s perspective differs from mine, not to consider another viewpoint, but to supply myself with ammunition so I can win my next argument with them. Guess it’s time for me to get that listening thing down as change not only requires listening to those with whom you disagree but also being prepared to compromise…

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