It Takes A Good Filter (Audio)
This morning I was thinking about all the people we have the power to speak to, either by the example of our lives lived before them or the power of the words we share in all forms of communication.
Then, on the flip side, I thought about all those we listen to that we are easily enamored or repulsed by and I wonder how many different views of life they all represent.
How do you filter out the welcomed from the rejected?
Social media has opened up the platform of sharing our positions without any thought about the audience. Who pays attention to your words, and what impact do they have on the masses? How well do you articulate your position? Can you convince anyone of the power of your position or do you simply incite the masses to riot?
On the flip side, who are you paying attention to and drinking their position and words into your life without much thought about where they are coming from? Are you easily swayed by rhetoric and emotion, or do you listen to logical presentations where it’s easy to connect the dots immediately, or perhaps where you need to ruminate before deciding what you believe?
Regardless, I believe we are living in a time where the voices are more numerous than we can easily pay attention to, and those yammering of voices creates a cacophony clanging of folks who think it’s their right to be heard! By you!
It makes me yearn for the peace and quiet of off-grid living far, far away…
But then, I shake myself out of the doldrums of daydreaming. I realize how impossible it is to live off the grid and away from the incessant spiel coming from the four corners. I realize it’s my responsibility to choose wisely what I say, and listen with even a wiser ear to what life is saying around me, filtering for the good and spurning the wasteful.
Speaking and listening…
It all takes a good filter to know what to say and to whom, and what to glean, and from whom.
We’ve learned the value of good filters. In fact, we seldom intake anything without it having gone through some filtering process. Coffee, combustion engines, water systems. Think about all the places filters are used to protect the use and user of the product. Rocks go through a separator to filter smaller and smaller pieces into mounds where all their neighbors are the same size. Even cigarettes have filters for some apparent reason! Entertainment has a filtration system that tells you what is contained so you can filter the use. We even know how to filter language with technology so words can be bleeped so as to not offend tender ears or minds.
Filters are also used to slow the process of accepting things we don’t know how to handle, or we’re not ready to handle. Words, ideas, thought, examples – all can be used without a context, and if you cannot understand what I’m saying then you will never grasp my meaning. When I write I am constantly opening up other browser tabs to investigate words and ideas so I have a better handle on writing for the audience.
My writing is filtered, just like your reading!
Sometimes words have deeper meanings and only those who have a broader experience could comprehend the example, or analogy. Sometimes you simply hear what you hear and it tells you something different than the communicator was attempting to share.
Jesus had just completed a teaching session where folks flocked to hear his words. In the crowd were people hungry for his message, as well as those who sought to discredit him. You can read about it in the Gospel of John, chapter 6.
Some of his teachings rubbed people the wrong way, even though they knew who Jesus was because they knew his parents. Maybe it’s the nature of humanity to quarrel among ourselves over the words we hear, but this is exactly what the audience did. His words were so deeply different that they created consternation and confusion, but it also got them talking among themselves about the meaning of his words.
Even the disciples of Jesus murmured, “This is a hard saying; who can understand it?” Jesus tells them, “…the words I speak are spirit and life”, even knowing that there were those who would never believe him and would betray him. (John 6:60-64)
Here’s my thought today. I’m weary of the flash of emotions that are created by the words we speak and the words we hear. It’s almost like someone wants their 15 minutes of fame to be the first to start an argument, or to accuse, or to incite the audience. As good listeners, we should be better about our reaction to what we hear. As good communicators, we should realize that not everyone is on the same page and perhaps we should temper our speech into better words for the ease of the audience we communicate to.People may hear your words, but they feel your attitude. ~John C. Maxwell Click To Tweet