What follows is not even junk science…just a thought for the day, prompted by the National Communication Association meetings getting underway here in New Orleans. This year, they’ve invited a few meteorologists, and we’ve done for them and the city of New Orleans what we’ve done for our own AMS Annual Meeting venues…we’ve brought severe weather. The area has been under a tornado watch this morning; wind-driven rain is pelting against my hotel window. Are your professional association meetings humdrum? Lift them out of the ordinary! Invite a meteorologist or two.
But back to that common ground, which creationists and evolutionists so sorely need. Let’s start with a question we often hear…
…which action requires more muscles? To frown, or to smile? The folk wisdom has always been that it takes fewer to smile. However, it turns out that this area, like climate science, has its advocates and its deniers, its convinced and unconvinced. Google the question and you’ll see a range of figures. Talk about uncertainty! But those of us reassured by the timeworn answer, that smiling takes less effort, should check this site for grins.
But with this lead-in…finally getting to the point…which takes more muscles…to listen, or to talk?
Evolutionists might well argue that this proves there’s always been, and continuing to this day, great survival value associated with listening…being alert to every audio cue around you…whether signifying danger or opportunity. And creationists can see in this God’s wisdom…we are to be slow to speak, quick to listen. In any event, it would seem both sides should agree on the need to listen to other points of view…including each other.
But we don’t. We’re close-minded.
Don’t just glide by that phrase! Stop and ponder it. It conjures up the next whimsical thought…Given that the muscular playing field is not at all level, it appears as individuals that we spend a lot of time wiring up our brains to compensate. We learn and/or teach ourselves to be close-minded. All those ideas that come pouring into our ears from all sources? They don’t get very deep into the brain before we block ‘em off. And we often speak before thinking. All too often very little last-second screening before we let fly with our damaging words. So our brains appear to provide a compensating gateway.
And that contributes to our present circumstance. Look at the news headlines this morning. You might be fixated on the state of the Euro, the turmoil in Middle East, the 2012 presidential campaign and debates, the ups and downs (mostly downs) of that Congressional committee of twelve, the Keystone pipeline and other environmental issues. It doesn’t matter. In each instance, it appears that part of the problem is that more talking than listening is going on. And a lot of what we have to say suggests we’re more interested in fixing blame than fixing the problem.
So today’s thought, picking up yesterday’s post on seeking first to understand and only then to be understood? Hardly new, but worth repeating.
We can improve our prospects, and those of the human race, by doing more listening (plenty of danger and opportunity out there), and less talking (particularly of a certain kind).
Starts with me…