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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Are you hearing or listening?

What would it be like to never hear another song? Never be able to hear your grandchildren one day tell you that they love you?  What if you could never hear the whispers of "You're beautiful," from the man who will one day sweep you off your feet?  

    I know that these aren't exactly positive questions- but it's something we should all consider.  As a younger generation, we plug into our Ipods nearly every day and tune out the rest of the world.  Sometimes it seems like youth feel it is so important to drown out the rest of the world and just focus on their own thoughts and feelings.  WHY?  What is the point? Tuning out the rest of the world just cuts you off from the important things you might hear, or the things that might just mean the most to you...but how would you know if you're never listening?  
     Today I am in Massachusetts with my brother and his new wife, and I got the chance to attend their church meetings with them.  While I was sitting their in the main service (called Sacrament meeting in the LDS church) I noticed that there was an interpreter at the front of the congregation.  I became extremely excited and started paying attention immediately.  This year at school, I selected my language course for BYU.  I chose to study ASL, and it has been an incredible blessing in my life already. So of course, I was all but ecstatic to watch an interpreter during church.  After a few minutes, she noticed me watching and gave me a questioning glance.  I quickly signed to her while she wasn't interpreting that I'm a student of sign at BYU.  She then invited me to help her.  Now- I have never interpreted before, and can I just say- it was SO hard?  But the thing was...I realized while I was sitting there struggling to relay the speaker's story about her childhood, how incredibly important it is to appreciate our senses.  What if we lost them?  The Deaf Community does not view being deaf as any kind of an impairment and I think that is a beautiful thing...but having lived life with hearing thus far- where would I be if I lost it?  
      So now I'm asking you- are you only hearing the things around you, or are you actually listening?  So many kids hear what their parents tell them, but they don't truly listen to them.  And what about when someone is asking for help...even if they don't just come right out and say it?  If you're not listening but only hearing, what will happen to those people?  I am trained to listen for cries of help or distress, between the lines of casual conversation, and if I am not paying attention...what kind of an affect will I NOT have on people's lives?  
      As young women, we should be appreciating everything we have been given, and that includes things that we might often take for granted, like the simple ability to hear the raindrops falling on our windowpane during a summer storm, or the cry of that new born baby, or the crickets on a spring night.  How often do you value the priceless gift of hearing your parents tell you they love you?  Not enough.  I am guilty of this too, and I am challenging myself to truly appreciate the gift of being able to hear, listen, and all other senses or blessing I take for granted. I challenge you to do the same.  Just like those wonderful people I met today who were deaf, and cannot hear their children laugh appreciate the smiles they can see...I want to always remain grateful for everything I have been given.  

    Take the earbuds out...stop ignoring the hidden messages in other's simple words, and start listening to the simple messages of love and beauty in every part of the world. Stop just hearing...but learn to listen, and be grateful every single day for that chance.  

This piano piece is the epitome to me of the things you could never hear again. It's my favorite piece. Enjoy listening to it after you read.