By Barb Shimansky, Director of Youth Education at Congregation Sinai in Milwaukee, WI
I spent some time this morning teaching a track on social media to a group of teens attending NFTY CANOe (Chicago and Northern regions) Summer Kallah (#sumka13). Part of our session was devoted to blogging. I thought you might like to hear what our teens have to say on the topic of “hear.”
Although hearing is an important sense, we sometimes don’t utilize it to its fullest extent. What we hear can be different from what reality is. Unless we are able to witness something and actually see it, we can’t be sure.
Hearing is not listening. You can hear something and have no idea what was just said.
Most people can hear things. We hear things the moment we develop ears inside our mothers. But listening is a whole other topic. Anyone can hear something, but not everyone can truly listen. A listener is a special type of person. They can grant you undivided attention while you are talking. They can give advice when needed. They can even just be a person to vent to when you need them. A listener is an important type, way more meaningful than a person who can only hear.
Remember what you hear, and hear what you remember. Keep in mind the helpful tips and loopholes that your friends, family, and teachers pass on to you, and make good use of their wisdom.
So we hear but we don’t listen. We’re inconsiderate people and we only think of ourselves. Everyone sort of tunes out what everyone else says. So next time, when the voices in your head get too loud, start to hear those, and when the voices of the people you’re supposed to care about actually show affection to you, maybe you should listen.
Stop and look at the world and all its beauty. But better yet why not close your eyes and soak in all the noise. The birds singing or the cars blaring. The wind whistling and the water trickling. I have learned that the greatest views of Earth are of that which we can’t see.