Is Anybody Listening?

many talk but few listen

Ears that Hear

Posted on | June 1, 2012 | No Comments

How often have you been told that you have ‘cloth ears’? It used to happen to me with my Mum. “Didn’t I just tell you…?” etc.
While there are several theories about the origins of the expression it seems likely from one of Samuel Pepys’ diaries (May 1 1663, in fact) that cloth ears were devices worn by horses. They were intended to help them cope with noisy crowds.
In these days of “noise” of various kinds we can easily tune out. We have to! Imagine tuning in to every conversation we overhear – or every radio programme playing in the background. Or the sound of passing traffic, or planes flying overhead. It could drive us insane.
In other words our ears are usefully selective. We don’t have to listen intently to everything hitting our ear-drums — thankfully! Sometimes we just enjoy being lost in our own thoughts.
We just have to make sure that we tune in to those things that are important – either for our own good, or for the good of others that need an ear.
Sadly many audio devices these days force people to retreat into their own private world. Seeing ear plugs in a person’s ear I hear them saying loud and clear “DO NOT DISTURB”. Even travelling on public transport – buses, trains, planes – we used to chat with the person beside us, but no more. The trouble is that when we do strike up a conversation we may find the other person just wants to unload on us… Why? Perhaps there are too few of us around who are really willing to listen.

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