Wednesday, September 14, 2005

I'm talking, but is anyone listening?

John Roberts’ confirmation hearings begin today. These hearings could give the United States her next Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. I don’t know what the schedule is, but the event opens, of course, with the senators on the committee offering opening statements.

Perhaps I don’t understand the way things are supposed to work. To my mind, confirmation hearing would primarily be about interviewing the candidate. It seems, at least at the start, these hearings are mostly about each Senator getting to climb onto the pedestal in turn and pontificating on his or her own pet issues.

I have observed that it is a nearly ubiquitous human trait to seek and crave attention. As a preacher I know this. We as a profession are known for not easily giving up a microphone.

I even had one guest preacher tell me, as we were entering the service at which he was preaching, “I’ve got a 25 minute sermon. I hope they are ready to listen to it all!” I know I had told him that I usually preach for about 15 minutes. In his mind, though, the listening ability (and interest level) of the people did not matter; all that mattered was that he had something to say and the place to say it.

My experience has been that when people are not listening it doesn’t matter what I say. I know, for example, that I don’t listen just because someone is speaking.

Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we spoke in ways that encouraged others to listen to us? Perhaps if we did, we would all also become better and more willing listeners.


At 11:20 AM, Blogger izchan said...

You have an interesting point there.

The part about the speaking, I mean.

And the thing is, most people don't really care. What they want is to just hear their own voice.

and a lot of people fall into that trap. i believe it is a sin call vanity.

since you came by my place, I thought I would come over for a visit as well.

And I am glad I was not disappointed. :)


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