In a letter from James, Christ's half-brother, we are instructed on this subject, "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God." Swift to hear and slow to speak are the attributes we are taught. It is critical that we truly have complete control over our self before embarking upon this phase of our journey. Imagine the patience and control required to genuinely become someone who is slow to speak. As we will discover over the next few months even more shall be required of us to successfully become swift to hear.
Let us define briefly one of our goals. What is meant by slow to speak? It is imperative for us to take much thought and contemplation prior to offering words to our companions. Each word we utter must have meaning. We can rest assured that others may perceive each of our words with meaning. It is our duty to ensure that perception and intent are precisely matched. This is a skill, which requires continuous practice. In modern day western society we have grown accustomed to short, meaningless conversations. In particular the proliferation of text messaging has severely degraded our ability to communicate with value. It is even the case that some 'auto-responses' are used by habitual text-messagers in an attempt to stay in touch with as many as possible. If we have programmed a machine to respond for us, does it really have meaning?
It is not our fault that the art of discussion has been lost. Of course there are many who stand to benefit from obstructing our ability to reason. Devoid of complex communication skills we are left defenseless against so-called 'expert-opinion'. Instead it so happens that we can fall into a mode of default. Since many of our interactions in day-to-day life lack true meaning we begin to lose the ability to discover meaning where it exists. Rather then, meaning is programmed and defined for us. The television commercial, the billboard, or the radio personality directs our idea of meaning. Let us become resolute then. It is critical for us to regain the wondrous lost art of discussion. Our humanity rests on the interactions we have with our fellow companions. Let us embark then on this next phase in our leadership journey. We shall learn to listen.
Copyright © Robert Clinton Chedester 2013