Are you listening to me?

“The woman drove home with excitement, waiting and planning how to tell her husband the news about her job promotion.  She knew he would be proud of her achievement, that is, if he could hear her while his head was buried in his sports section of the daily paper.  She knew that his attention would be absorbed on the daily stats of whatever sports he was into that day.  She knew that if the sport was “hot” he would also be listening to the radio or television, which ever that could give him the blow-by-blow account.  She knew she cared less about the sports he was so into, and to get his full attention would be monumental. ”


Sound familiar?

All you need to do is change the people and the circumstances, and we deal with this listening problem every day in some way.  But before you jump on the bandwagon, or off the bandwagon, let me explain.  In all my studies, I remember learning that we hear every fourth word, so I decided to investigate that thought. It’s not that we hear every fourth word, we hear 25% of what is spoken. According to the University of Missouri Extension, we speak about 125 words per minute, and we can understand about 400 words per minute. That is roughly 25% of our mental capacity. So the other 75% of our brain is working on our own thoughts floating around our head — so now you know how and why our minds wander. We’re just built that way.  Could you imagine talking at 400 (or four times more) words per minute — it would be like listening to a vinyl 45 rpm playing at 33 1/3 rpm (and please, one of you music buffs correct me on that one, please)!

Maybe that is why some of us are good at multi-tasking. I know I have become a couch-surfer (don’t you love the new term?) because I can not give my full attention to any one thing unless if I am writing or teaching, but then I live in my own head while I am writing, carrying on full dialogues with these mind characters. My mind works overtime. Maybe that is what passion is, just like the man described above; he’s “into” it. And the rest, well I will hear enough to know what you are talking about unless if you pull me from my thoughts and make me focus on what you have to say. Teaching is focused-driven. You can not be an effective teacher if you are thinking of something other than the subject at hand. It’s that simple.

So, what happened to the lady…

“She knew she had to break him away from the playoffs, and it had to be sudden and exhilarating to gain that attention, if only for a few minutes.  She had the plan worked out in her head — she would open the door, stand in front of him,  and yell ‘we’re having a baby. At 49.’  She knew that would get his attention. Long enough for her to tell him the truth.

Perfect plan, she thought.

She opened the door to the house, and she couldn’t believe her eyes. He was not focused on the paper, nor was he listening to the  sports, he was…”


Hey, you finish it. What was he doing?



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2 responses to “Are you listening to me?

  1. Joanne Warren

    Had dinner prepared and was tidying up the house.

  2. Pam Habing

    had flowers waiting for her. The doctors office had called from her appointment for her routine physical earlier that day. She is in perfect health for a pregnant 49 year old woman. Congratulations!

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