Sunday, October 30, 2016

Listening With the Whole Body, Mind and Soul

Louann Brizendine a scientist, and neuropsychiatrist is quoted in an article in the Kyeongyang Magazine. A member of the  Seoul Diocesan Pastoral Committee, working in family matters, uses her book on The Female Brain from which the writer draws some interesting conclusions for his readers.

Men, he says, speak about 7,000 words a day which is a tedious task for many. Women, use about 20,000 words and if she doesn't succeed she is stressed and upset. "Women with one word speak a hundred; men with a hundred words speak one." Phrases like this just don't come to light without reason.

Relating this to family life the man at work speaks his 7,000 words and returning home wants to rest. The wife on the other hand whether in the home or at work has not succeeded in speaking her 20,000  or more words and gazing at her husband wants to talk. Consequently, this is a reason for some family conflict. Should they take turns one day with quiet and the next with talk? No, and proposes his suggestion to the readers.

He tells husbands to looks warmly at their wives, nod their heads and respond with the following words: "Is that right?" "That's Surprising?"  "How come?"  "So what did you do?"  "Ha,Ha Ha, That's interesting!"  These and similar words do not take much effort and will make the bond between the spouses stronger.

Listening is more difficult than talking. This may not seem the case but the reality is that more energy is expended in listening. Why should this be the case? We have to lower ourselves and raise the other; give our attention to the other which requires effort.

We have to refrain from interrupting, changing the subject, and refrain from giving advice, and looking away. Listening requires that we give up these thoughts and give our attention completely to what is being said which takes energy. Consequently, when the husband is listening, the wife should remember he is expending more energy in listening then she is and thank him.

He concludes the article with a breakdown of the Chinese character for listening:
Related image

On the left top, you have the character for Ear below that you have the character for King. On the right top, the character for Ten, below: Eye--One and Heart.  You are being asked to give your  complete attention as if you had 10 eyes, hearing with your ear and heart and considering the other person like a king. This can be tiring.

This is the way we should listen to God in prayer and to those in the family. We have been given only one mouth but two ears which should mean something. To love with words is easy but to live with a loving heart  requires that we listen in the way the Chinese character shows us.