A Lesson from the Car Radio
When listening to my CBC radio program in the car, I am often surprised by a topic discussed. Current affairs and controversial items have me turning the volume up, already with a predetermined mindset or opinion based on media or minimal reading. However as a rule many aspects of the topic are explored – I am forced to listen, and listen only, as guests on the program tell their personal stories, resources are examined, and questions raised from different perspectives. I can respond out loud to the car radio but no one can hear me! This has me engage in deep thought, sifting and sorting information, and often arriving at a more informed viewpoint which is softened and perhaps modified by the stories that were told.
There is great wisdom and learning here for me. I am trying daily to improve my deep listening skills, and using the work of Courage and Renewal, I have adopted some excellent tools to work with. But the radio voices come to me from anonymous people; I cannot see them or their body language and so am left with pure words and voices to listen to. I become very focused on the words and how they impact my thoughts and feelings. I honor those words with deepest regard. I wonder ho I can infuse this kind of listening in my day to day encounters with peers, family and all my relationships.
I am filled with gratitude for living in a country where free speech is the norm. In these complicated times of world conflict, and daily news that brings upset and fear, I can make a difference by truly listening to the stories of others. I can continue to seek to be informed by broad and balanced dialogue from radio and media sources. And then I can use my voice to speak my truth and story into the human world of connection and compassion so that it might make a difference to one person who is listening and learning alongside of me.