listening is a lost art.


     I remember as a young kid trying to figure out why my grandfather was always yelling. It didn’t matter what subject he was discussing or if it was a simple question like “can you get me a glass of water”? I finally got my grandmother to disclose the fact that she thought he was hard of hearing. He also would over talk anyone around him who was trying to have a conversation, simply because he couldn’t hear them. Once I understood the problem, I started yelling when I talked to him since hearing aids were out of the question because he didn’t think he had an issue. It seems that a lot of individuals that are on TV now with talk shows or news programs have my grandfathers problem with one exception, they don’t have a hearing problem! They shout, and over talk any one in their path.

     When did yelling become so popular. Oh, not everyone does it. But a great many do. Listening and responding thoughtfully to what someone is saying is fast becoming a lost art. It seems much more important to get your two cents in even if it doesn’t make much sense. A couple of weeks ago I was watching Real Time with Bill Maher and it was virtually impossible to understand what anyone was saying due to the constant interruptions from the combined guests. Whenever I watch Piers Morgan and he puts a panel of experts on to noodle on the subject he’s focusing on, I immediately turn it off. It would be informative if they were actually having a debate, but it often sounds like a bar room brawl. Why not hand them boxing gloves at the beginning of the show? Morgan does try to create some order amongst some of the more pugilistic guests, but they simply keep going as if their life depended on it.

    The yelling is often combined with an angry look. So many of these individuals’ faces appear perennially pissed off.. There are a couple of women, one of whom is a lawyer and seems to represent a lot of celebrities, who has combined a strident voice with a snarky look. Is the yelling and angry looks become the norm because in order to get attention today you need to yell? Let’s face it we’re inundated  with information overload and a lot of people are vying for the same audience  I either have to yell louder than everyone else or maybe I should just wear a thong and carry a megaphone. Or just maybe we should go back to being respectful towards one another and stop trying to be the center of the universe.

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