15 Oct 2020

Who Should You Listen To?

In a day and time when so much information is literally being thrown at you from every side, the question easily surfaces . . . “who should you listen to?  Many days I feel that I am on information overload.  I know who and what I need to listen to and that list by itself is quite full.  It is important that I not only hear the voices of my husband, my children / grandchildren, my family and loved ones, my church family, my accountability partners and those  I depend on for wise counsel; but it is also important that I listen closely to them.  There is indeed a difference between hearing and listening.  You hear sounds and noises all the time, everywhere!  Very rarely is there any significant space of time where there is total silence.  We have become so accustomed to the “noise of the day”, that we are conditioned and often immune to its disturbance.   At times we become disturbed or distracted  — other times it’s just a fact of life which we subconsciously accept.  

I must be perfectly honest and say that I am not a fan of this time of year when it comes to television and social media.  We are bombarded with political advertisements and commentary.   Individuals and political parties are going to great lengths to promote themselves and their platforms.  Others are focusing their efforts on bashing the other side in an effort to dissuade whatever trust or belief you may have in their opponent.   There is a constant battle for your attention.    Of course, the fact that we are embarking upon the most critical election of our lifetime is preeminent, however realistically we experience this constant blanketing of conversation, opinions, constructive and destructive criticism in ordinary life experiences.  

With so much information being transmitted and translated from countless sources, it can be hard to decipher what and who is beneficial to listen to.  Some people have no qualms about giving you their opinion whether it is solicited or not.  All that we hear cannot possibly be advantageous to us.  I remember an old saying which states “you have to learn to eat the meat and throw away the bones”. In other words, consume that which is good for you and discard the rest.   I try my best to regularly apply that wise old saying.  But there are also other plausible indicators I have found to be helpful when attempting to make a levelheaded decision as to who I will listen to and grant permission to influence my thinking.

  • How well do you know the source of the information?
  • What is their track record of success?
  • Does their opinion consistently appear biased or one-sided?
  • Do they practice examining and considering all angles and aspects of the situation at hand before reaching a conclusion?
  • No matter the age of the individual, are they open to learning new things and broadening their horizons?
  • Does the individual and the information they are delivering have the potential to serve others outside of themselves and their particular circle? 

Just a few things to consider in this age of information overload where everyone seems to exercise their

“People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the

world is also a confession of character.”