Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Is Anybody Listening?

Lately I've had a bit of a hardware malfunction with my Mac Mini. My fabulous wireless keyboard is kaput. It is probably entirely unrelated to the fact that Boo dropped her entire Zubber Factory on it last Friday afternoon, but since it has not worked since that precise moment, I am forced to draw the conclusion that it might be related after all.

The mouse on my computer still works, and I have all my favorite sites bookmarked so I can still surf the web. I can upload photos, check my email, check out what everyone's up to on Facebook. But I can't really say a whole lot.

Fortunately, my studly computer guru husband has already ordered me a new keyboard and loaned me a laptop to use in the meantime. Hence my ability to speak to you for the last few days. However, last weekend I found myself essentially tongue tied, observing my favorite cyber places, limited to listening.

I learned something about myself during those five days.

I learned that my primary love of Facebook and blogging is not so much to keep up with the world, as it is to talk about myself. Mm hmm, yeah. I know blogging is essentially a narcissistic activity, but I tell myself my readers need to hear from me. That they look forward to hearing every word I say.

There is much good to be found in blogging. Personally I have found it a chance to refine my thoughts, improve my skills, and to document my story. But I think that in our world of instant publishing, when any of us has the ability to speak our every thought to the masses, we have developed communication fatigue. Sure, we can subscribe to be notified every time a friend posts a thought, but do we really take the time to read and interact with it all? We're so busy talking, we don't have the mental capacity to really listen.

There is much good to be found in listening. In scouring my friends' Facebook pages, I could look at what everyone else was talking about. In reading back posts on my friends' blogs, I had time to meditate on the moments of their lives. For five days, I was so limited to listening that I couldn't even tell my friends I was reading their words. Before long I found myself composing messages to them in my head, instead of my usual inner monologue of trying out phrases and thoughts of my own to express.

When I finally got access to a keyboard back, it took me the better part of a day to make the rounds of my friends' cyber homes and leave them little notes of encouragement. And by the end of that day I felt so refreshed and uplifted myself, that I realized again the power of words.

Thanks to those of you who have complimented and encouraged me in my writing, I am inspired to keep blogging. But I have been reminded to take a wider role in my personal mission of using words to encourage. I have been reminded to stop and listen to what everyone else is saying, to notice them and interact with them where they are. And I have felt very blessed by the privilege of hearing what's up with everyone else.

Is anybody listening? With God's help, I hope I am.

1 comment:

  1. that's a good round of thoughts. i do like listening. the past 2 years have been strange for me, b/c i've done more talking. i'm glad we got to know each other.


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