Thursday, October 9, 2008

Listening to See

I don't remember where I heard it recommended a few years ago, but I think it must've been on a radio program which would not come as a surprise. The suggestion was to listen to political debates and not watch and listen to debates. The idea was that it causes the listener to really focus on what is being said and not allowing body language, glitz, etc. interfere with the message.

Well, I know that body language is part of communication, but I decided to once again follow the listening suggestion. I believe I tried it about eight or twelve years ago, but not sure. Anyway, last Tuesday night I settled down in my swivel-recliner in my home "office" upstairs, turned on my Eton radio, tuned it to my local NPR radio station, 88.3 WNIN-FM, perked up my ears and began listening to the second 2008 Presidential Debate between Senators Obama and McCain, as well as feeling sorry for Mr. Brokaw whose pleas to follow the rules were virtually ignored.

Listening didn't change my mind about who I plan to vote for, but I think it did cause me to really concentrate on what the candidates were saying. It also seemed to magnify some super-repitive phrases of both candidates: Sen. Obama, "Look, ..." and Sen. McCain, "My friends, ..." Listening also helped me "hear" what they didn't talk about, like the issue of abortion (infanticide). Listening without seeing seemed to help eliminate the drama of the moment and "see" the substance or lack thereof.

One other thing I learned from the experience: I can fix a broken desk lamp while listening to a presidential debate and not miss a thing!

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