” Hello… Anybody There?”

Dear Reader:

Is it just me… or has anybody else, who has grown children, arrived at my same realization that this generation might go down in history as the ” Lost Art of Listening” generation?

I call and hear ” one ringy dingy… two ringy dingys -three… etc. Nothing and then voice mail… So now I follow up with a text message explaining that I left a phone message earlier… and viola! A short text follows answering my questions. Communication over.

My suspicion is verified… this generation much prefers texting over listening and/or talking. Oral out, verbal out… finger tactile in!

I can’t help but think that even Jesus would have a hard time communicating publicly today! A big what if? Think about it… in Jesus time here on earth… 95 to 97 % of the ancient peoples were illiterate and the 3% that were …came to be through social and economic status.

Today we know Jesus reached people through orally talking to large numbers of them and teaching them about God through parables. The most revered men at the time were great orators and Jesus obviously was one since he drew massive crowds to hear him. They actually camped out in the fields ,barren lands, deserts for hours to listen to this charismatic young man. Soon His messages were being spread far and wide. Why? Because people were listening and learning and spreading their new knowledge!

Outside of an outdoor rock concert today can you imagine young people sitting quietly and just listening? What is that old riddle history teachers used ? … Do times make the man or does man make the times? In Jesus’ case …if you are the Son of God… both!!!

A few days ago I had a message from a reader Anthony Bong-who told me he wanted to use a title from one of my earlier posts called ” The Lost Art of Listening ” for a sermon he was preaching soon if that was okay with me… ( it is always okay for anybody to use anything to share with others -pay it forward.) He especially wanted to use the funny anecdote about FDR and the receiving line. I told him to go for it… and he would know if anyone in the congregation was listening by the volume of chuckles!

FDR was known for his quick wit , ready grin, and boisterous personality… but even he, a President, discovered that people aren’t really listening in long reception lines to shake his hand. So he decided to play a little trick on his guests one evening.

FDR got tired of smiling that big smile and saying all the usual things at those White House receptions. So one evening he decided to find out whether anybody was really paying attention to what he was saying. As each person came up to him with extended hand , he flashed his famous big smile and said,” I murdered my grandmother this morning.”

” People would automatically respond with comments such as ” How lovely,” or ” Continue on with your great work!” Nobody listened to what he was saying… except for one foreign diplomat. When the President said, ” I murdered my grandmother this morning” he looked around, leaned in and whispered quietly… ” I’m sure she had it coming to her.”

So until tomorrow…

Today is my favorite day -Winnie the Pooh

Susan sent over this cutest raisin carrot cookie that just yells out Easter … and Yummy!

Don’t forget to say ” Rabbit Rabbit” It’s April 1-May it be the best month of all!!!

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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2 Responses to ” Hello… Anybody There?”

  1. Rachel Edwards says:

    Rabbit…Rabbit…used to use that exercise with students in my Storytling Clubs at OES and AMS…the inportance of your voice combined with facial expressions to tell a story. I would demonstrate by saying “my dog died this morning ” with a huge grin on my face. They got it and realized that wbat you were saying had to be conveyed with the proper expression s on your face…love the FDR story…think all women have done something similar to their husbands and/or children to see if they were listening..


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