24 June 2015

When people don't listen, things will

This is the thirty fourth in a series I am writing for the JEANS section of 'The Nation'.  The series is for children. Adults consider yourselves warned...you might re-discover a child within you! Scroll down for other articles in this series. 

Not all days are sunny.  And not all days are gloomy.  There are happy times.  There are also moments when you are sad and even angry.  Times when no one seems to understand you.  You will remember I am sure, if you thought about it.  Not only don’t they understand they even find fault with you, right?  

Well, there are times to argue and times when it is best to be silent.  Why waste your breath trying to explain something to someone who (in your mind) doesn’t have the brains to understand, right?  

But that’s doesn’t take away the anger or the hurt.  You feel that you have been terribly wronged.  You feel there’s no justice in this world.  You want to go far away.  You wish you could run away.  

There was a little girl who, like all little girls and boys, felt exactly like that.  Not only did she feel it, she even said it.  

‘I will run away!’ she declared. 

She had, fortunately, a father who had a sense of humor.  Her father said, kindly, softly, ‘well, why don’t you?’

‘I would,’ she replied with defiance. And she added, ‘I would, if I had the money!’ 

The words came out almost like a scream.  

Her father promptly put on an expression of utmost incredulity.  He acted as though he was the dumbest man on earth.  The tone of his voice was also altered to suit ‘dumbness’.  He asked a stupid, really stupid question: ‘But you won’t need money duwa, you would be running, wouldn't you?’  The stress was on the word ‘running’.  

He sounded so dumb and so serious that the little girl couldn’t help bursting into laughter.  The rest was easy for both father and daughter.

The problem is that not all fathers know how to act dumb.  The same goes for mothers.  Teachers too.  What do you do then?  What do you do when no one is willing to listen to you or if they do can’t still hear you, meaning they don’t get your point?  

That’s when you go talk to the sky, the clouds, the trees, flowers and ferns, dolls, pets, a row of ants, soft toys or even furniture.  All of them are good listeners.  They won’t talk back to you.  They won’t argue.  They just listen in silence.  Just like the way you wish your mother, father, teacher or anyone else should have!

They may not talk back to you, and hey might not even appear to be listening, but if you talk to them softly, with a lot of kindness, you will find that they have a way of communicating with you.  Not with words of course.  But if you feel better after a few minutes, it might just be because they calmed you don’t in non-verbal ways.  

Other articles in this series


සෙන්නා said...

I always astonish and ask my self, "how people talks to "things"?". I never did this and i have no meaning of it at all. I talk to myself instead. That is always fruitful and there was a feedback always. If no one listen to you, suggest talk to your self who is your one and only best friend and who never betrays you.

Unknown said...

True, the silence creates a breathing space and naturally you feel better.

Anonymous said...

When pets were dead it always came to my mind.Felt so sad .Was thinking why so much ? They only listened but we had words.

Unknown said...

I was a child who used to talk to all kinds of things like trees, furniture, books, pencils, etc. and animals - almost to everything other than people. This took me back to my childhood. The father who appears here is a very understanding one just like my mother used to be.

Unknown said...

I was a child who used to talk to trees, furniture, toys, etc. and animals - almost everything other than people. So, your article took me back to my childhood. The father who appears here is a very understanding one just like my mother used to be.