One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.
Growing up in a large middle eastern family I learned that I had to speak up if I wanted to be heard, or I may never get a chance. You may be listening to what others are saying, but mostly you’re just waiting for that brief window of opportunity to voice your opinion and shine in the limelight. But this year, 2020, filled with the uncertainties of a global pandemic and a hostile, controversial US election, I’ve become wise to the power of silence. I’ve been laying low during debates, sitting in the back row and simply listening more. It’s allowing me to have a deeper understanding of the perspective of others.
As a mother of four children, ages 5-18, I’ve gotten used to the constant interruptions and the back talk. I’m learning that it’s okay to not always have the last word, but gosh darn that’s a hard habit to break. It’s uncomfortable, it feels like you’re being defeated, sometimes by your own child or spouse. But then again, what do we really win anyways? If we aren’t able to hear our counterparts? If we aren’t connecting on that deeper level of communication where two people meet at the place of resolve. That’s what we all want, isn’t it? Something to think about.
Maybe the last word, isn’t a victory after all. Perhaps silence is that window of opportunity that will allow God to intervene, to soften our hearts and open our minds.