Who Gets It Right? by Gary Ellis

“…because they desperately wanted to.”

That’s the last part of an illustration of a true experience Paul Tournier witnessed with his own eyes and ears.

Paul Tournier was a Swiss Physician who was also eminent in the field of pastoral counseling.  On a trip to France, Paul’s attention was caught by an Englishman and a Frenchman struggling to communicate with each other.  And yet…even though neither spoke the other’s language…the Englisman and the Frenchman were connecting with each other.  There was an understanding taking place without the advantage of common languages.  How?

Now, we push the rewind button to the top of our story:

Because, says Tournier, “It was clear that they desperately wanted to.”

How rare a commodity of character these two men exhibited. What a profound lesson in how to walk the pathway of understanding and peace.

What’s more typical is people not really listening to each other…not trying to hear the heart of the other person.  Most listening is done with a prejudice of proving one’s point.  Instead of hearing what the other person is trying to articulate from their heart, our “faux listening” really amounts to us thinking silently about our next comeback in the battle of words.

How much do we care about what the other person is thinking and why they came to that conclusion?  Or, instead, how much are we continuing to frame our words as arrows to penetrate and drive our point home….because….after all…”they need to know I’m right.”

“Cuz, if they have half a brain they will realize I’m right…if they will just listen to what I am saying!

My cry is, “Will you please shut up for just one minute and listen with the ears of your heart to what he or she is really trying to say to you!”  Then perhaps “they” will hear you.

Who gets it right?  The one who intently desires to understand and listens to what the other person is saying.  Not the one with the preconceived notion that they are always right.  You may be right (factually) but wrong in (actually…in attitude).