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Saturday / June 15.
HomemilastwordThe Last Word: What Lies Beneath

The Last Word: What Lies Beneath

If you look at a body of water, the surface usually doesn’t give away any indication of what may lie in the depths below. It can be as still and glassy as a mirror or as rough and tumble as a washing machine. It can be calm and gentle or angry and vicious.

But if you take a moment to dive under the surface, you see that while it may be frightening down there at times, down below is where an ocean is most beautiful… and most real.

We all know there is more to a person than meets the eye. Everyone has an inner life totally different from the ‘social’ face he or she presents to the world. However, most of us ignore this fact and instead, take people at face value, making our assumptions and judgments based purely upon the exterior.

How have we become so one-dimensional?

Is it because it’s just too hard to dig beneath the surface or to ask questions? Isn’t it easier to just not ask?

It doesn’t matter so much if you take the person who serves you at the check-out at face value or even the guy sitting next to you on the bus on the way to work. However, at other times it’s important to listen a little more attentively and ask more questions so that you can really hear what a person is trying (or needs) to say. Perhaps there’s something a little deeper lurking beneath the next person’s response to “how are you?” than their preset “not bad thanks”.

There is a difference between hearing and listening to what someone has to say. Hearing is an involuntary response to noise, while listening is a voluntary activity whereby you actually comprehend what is being said to you.

There is a proverb that says: “The purposes of a man’s heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out.”

A wise person is a person who listens to what is being said, who takes that information on board and responds to it as they feel necessary.

It is therefore, important that when you do ask a question, you take the time to listen carefully to the answer. For people to truly open up and share, they need to know that the person asking the question really wants to listen to what they have to say.

As Winston Churchill said: “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen”.

So why not grab a snorkel dive down beneath the surface to discover a little more about the people around you? A person’s true greatness is only revealed when you dig a little deeper.