I was scrolling through my twitter feed recently, and slowly found myself overwhelmed by all of the noise. So many people are talking constantly and sharing whatever 140 characters their mind deems most important at the time. Even though most of my feed is encouraging advice or uplifting, spiritual sentiments, everything people were saying felt like an overwhelming burden.
I began to wonder: with all of the people speaking on twitter, is there anyone really listening? Actually, in life, is anyone really listening? Let that question float around in your head unanswered for a few moments right now and meditate on it. Is anyone really listening?
If you happen to have paused to do this, then you just became a “yes” answer by your action, and I thank God for you.
In the overabundance of speaking/sharing today, I have begun lately to feel that my voice is not needed. Not too long ago, I would have come to the conclusion that I myself am not needed. But I am more than my voice. In a world of excess sharing, to be a listener is much needed societal role. We need people who can bear silence. We need people who can hear and internalize. Moreover, the listener’s role is not to be a sounding board for the overabundance of speaking, but to be focused discerner—listening for specific things and then amplifying those things, pointing out their validity, praising their virtue. A good listener may use his voice to repeat the worthy sayings he has heard. A good listener, I believe, listens for the message of the hope of Christ and the knowledge of God and relays that message to her own social circle.
The power of the listening individual, however, is mainly in living. In the things that he does, or the manner in which she carries out her tasks, a listener is a living hieroglyphic, a testimony written in flesh, of the things that the listener has heard. We as a society need to learn to be okay with not being heard and to become more concerned with applying the good things we’ve heard from others and living like we care about life. Yes, if we’re only concerned with making sure people know what we’re thinking, I’d venture to say that we don’t really care about life. Getting people to hear what you have to say takes a tremendous amount of effort and that energy could be spent in other areas that might actually make a difference in other people’s lives much faster. Stop raising awareness for your cause by shouting at everyone. Start living your awareness and the right people will jump on board and help you make progress.