“The Act of Contrition from a Kid’s Perspective”…is an article written from a young parochial boy’s perspective. The title gives a clue on how to read the article for reading is a form of listening. It is simply a young boys impressions at that moment in time. To read it from any other perspective is to miss the simplicity of a child’s thoughts, even the humor of the moment.
To develop the ability to step out of our own thoughts and perspective in order to see from another view is not an easy task; to lay aside our opinions and advice and just listen. We can never understand another if we are always standing at the ready to “set them straight” or to render unasked for advice. We need to step out of “us” and focus on “them” without critique or comment. It is a matter of stepping outside ourselves and placing someone other than “self” center stage.
Can you even imagine how many relationship issues would be solved if we were consistent in really listening to another’s thoughts and feelings? Can you imagine being able to listen to another with no thought of response…only listen? Even the thought of it insults the “ego” and defensive barriers go up. How can one listen without a response?
Effective listening is very difficult to learn. We are conditioned to speak, to reply, to fix, to explain…not to truly listen. Next time you are in a conversation with someone, become aware of what is going on in your thoughts as you are “listening.” The findings may amaze you. Hopefully, you may want to learn to truly listen. Keep in mind, when you are talking, someone else is doing the same to you as they “listen.” It has been said that we have two ears and one mouth…sounds like we are better equipped to listen than talk. The best way to see another’s perspective is by listening…really listening.