Saturday, 4 September 2010

What Was That You Said?

I have nothing to say and I am only going to say it once. Yes I actually heard somebody saying that yesterday. How often can you say nothing. I was not part of the conversation it was a moment snatched that I overheard. It did make me consider though just how many words it takes to say nothing.
I used to tell my students to always remember that if they looked in the mirror, something most of them were not averse to doing, they would notice that there were some things they all had in common. For example, they all had two ears, one nose and one mouth. My son having only one eye makes me very aware of how far one can take this. They would all agree, often of course with some comment about being glad they did not have somebody else’s nose. I then went on to tell them that having one mouth and two ears, they should use them in that proportion. We should do twice as much listening as speaking.

I walked up the road yesterday just as the schools were coming out for the end of the day, and the start of the weekend. I often marvel at how young people communicate at all. They just all talk at once, liberally scattered with words I do not know, and words I would chose not to use.

I remember being told this wonderful phrase. "Say what you mean, mean what you say, and don't be mean when you say it." I really must be getting old. I love words and the power they have to bring joy and healing. But sadly, I believe we are losing the wonderful art of communication. Technology is making conversations one sided, and the art of listening is dying.

Have you ever considered that the two words, SILENT and LISTEN, use the same letters. Now tell me the is a coincidence!

A young son and his father were walking in the mountains. The father said, “Why don’t you yell and see if anyone is out there?”

So the little boy yelled, “Helllooooooo.

To his surprise, he hears a voice answering, “Helllooooooo.

Curious, he yells back, "Who are you?"

He receives the answer: "Who are you?"

Angered at the response, he screams: "You’re an idiot!"

He hears the reply: "You’re an idiot!"

He looks to his father and asks, "What's going on?"

The father explained that he’s hearing an echo, and whatever he says will be repeated back to him. Then the dad yelled into the valley, “I think you’re great!”

The voice answers, “I think you’re great!”

The father turned to his son and explained: "The way you talk to others is a lot like this echo. If you’re angry and yell at them, they will yell back. But if you will say nice things to them, they will respond in the same way to you.”

I leave you this morning with a couple of little sayings I learned from my grandmother. I do not know where she learned them because I never took the time to ask. She used to say to me, "Two monologues don't make a dialogue."

And my final word, “Never miss the opportunity to keep your mouth shut.”

I hope you have a wonderful day and weekend.

You did not think for one minute I was going to stop with my final word, did you?

This blog is linked to my other. Be Still


  1. What an excellent parable with the 'echo' story, Ralph. Too, I hadn't realized the same letters were in listen and silent. Being a purveyor of words, you would think I'd have slowed down long enough to notice that! LOL Excellent and thought-provoking wisdom today.

  2. Really thought provoking and 100% true.

  3. Yes, I have heard about the echo story, but it is not true always! Sometimes, however sweet your words are, they dont seem to make any impact to receive the same goodness! Your final word is golden and I learned about it the hard way:-)

  4. Glad to hear about your sale, loved your story, I do always learn something from you and store it in that little place I keep close to my heart.