be open

Listening but Not Hearing

If you ever get the chance read How To Win Friends and Influence Others I highly recommend it. Not only does the book explain the importance of perspective it covers a huge issue as to why people cannot get along. Personally I have found that the book helps with a number of issues I have had with others in the past. Most of which stemmed from a lack of communication, and understanding of another persons perspective.

There is that word again, perspective, that I constantly talk about. It is the word that I will continue to use when attempting to create a tool box for others to use when tackling the issues that they face. Perceptive is the first thing that we should think of when we are getting into an argument, or a situation that needs leverage.

I am horrible when it comes to hearing my wife. I can listen to her, but ultimately I will challenge what she says, and try to negotiate to my side of thinking, because I believe that I am naturally right. It has been like this ever since we started dating years ago. I would push us toward a fight because I really wasn’t hearing what she was trying to say to me.

My wife hates to work. She once told me that she didn’t want to work, that if she could she wouldn’t. Now instead of asking what she meant, or even giving her a chance to discuss what she meant I immediately started in on her asking her if she thought that I was going to be the only one to make ends meet. This exploded into a argument, and that fight followed into the night.

After a few days she brought up the topic again that she didn’t want to work, and I was at a point that I knew that this could lead to a fight, so instead I just asked her what she meant by this. She started talking about how all of her life she felt that she wanted to do more, and a normal 9 to 5 job wasn’t the life she wanted to life. She wanted more.

She wasn’t telling me that she was unwilling to work, or even that she wasn’t capable of helping out our family she was saying that she wanted more for us, and wanted to know how we could go about this. How we could change our lives from the normal 9 to 5 to something that resembled a life worth living. This was literally why we started the blog in the first place to create a life worth living, and I shot her perspective down because I wasn’t hearing her.

In the book How to Win Friends and Influence Others it talks about taking this step back to gain an understanding of what the other person is actually trying to say. If we first have an understanding of what we are talking about then we can move forward on our perspective. If we are just listening to answer we are not hearing what the person is offering to us.

I deal with conflict on a daily basis, and if I do not take what the person is saying into mind, and try to understand their problem all I am doing is adding to their suffering like I did with my wife. People are complicated, and will at times be unable to be truly open about what they’re going through. Even after knowing my wife for eight years there are somethings that she has a hard time opening up about, and I to her. If I assume what she is trying to say without really knowing then I cannot make a difference in our lives.

As a couple we have a lot to work on with communication, and taking the other person’s perspective in mind. However, taking that step back, and hearing the other person will help make a difference in each other lives.

SCREW THE HOMELESS

Screw the homeless, what an awful thing to say right? So, what exactly brought you here? Was it the title, Screw the Homeless?

If it was the title did you feel outraged at the prospect that someone could have such an awful view of a group of people? Did you feel that you had to correct that view in order to better the world? Was it personal for you, did it create an injustice that had to be corrected? What if the title was “Help the Homeless”, would you have felt the need to read this blog post the same as when the title was inflammatory?

So, if this article isn’t about the homeless what is it about? Basically that we will become provoked at inflammatory words (screw the homeless) verse the actual issue, homelessness.

When we see something that is inflammatory like Screw the Homeless we feel the need to correct that person’s view. It’s similar to being on a Facebook page, and arguing with a person through comments. We aren’t actually solving the issue. We are simply fighting this person because they are wrong and in our eyes that is an injustice worth fighting for.

There are problems that exist in the world, and everyone can acknowledge that there is an issue. Finding a solution takes time, money, workers, and support from the community. Take homelessness for example. Homelessness exists and so does the penny tax. We could use that penny tax to build a shelter, fund volunteers, and work on the issue of homelessness. However, we could also use that tax to build something that the community wants, like a new recreation center or a community park. Now there is the issue, do we want a homeless shelter, or do we want something that pleases us?

This creates a duality issue. Do we help the homeless? I mean we all agree (well most of us) that we certainly don’t hate homeless people. Do we help ourselves? The homeless after all picked the life they are living, right? No one becomes homeless in a day, it’s a lifelong issue, and will take lifelong solution to fix.

What do you think is right? I wont judge, but if you were angry at me for saying screw the homeless, and I come up with a way to help the homeless, but you’re not on board because it takes something from you, why were you even mad in the first place? You were mad because the words were inflammatory, and that was a worse injustice to you than homelessness, that’s it.

Now I’m not saying You specifically are the issue, or that any of this applies to you, but you understand the concept? We get mad at other people for their views on an issue, when we don’t even care enough about the issue enough try and solve it in the first place. This may be true in your life, or may not be. I’m not someone to judge either way, all I am saying is if we care enough about something to get upset when someone disagrees with us, then shouldn’t it motivate us when someone is doing something that helps what we care about?

If there are two people holding two signs, help the homeless, or screw the homeless. Which one do you think you should talk to now? The guy who’s going to help them, or the one who just hates them?

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