It is my day off today. After lunch I can afford an extended time prostrated on my couch. As I am not that sleepy I begin leafing through a number of magazines that have been piling up.
Really the area where I am living is reasonably quiet. I can hear occasional cars passing by. They are slowing down approaching the curve. Afterwards they are accelarating again. I can gather that from the noises produced by the motors.
Some of my neighbours in the same building are talking to each other. I cannot gather any words. I really don’t care much about their conversation.
My own stomach produces some characteristic sounds. I can notice that today. I am quiet myself and I am resting.
In a neighbouring building that has been constructed last year I can hear noises produced by workmen. There is the occasional sound of electric drilling and of hammering. It is the acoustics of empty buildings that facilitate my being able to name these noises.
At times I collect the sound of water running from a water tap within my own building. Or perhaps somebody is taking a shower. Also water closets have a way of producing typical sounds.
While I am resting and reading over some magazines I can hear all this. To be honest I do not really care. I don’t have to. I am used to some amount of noises around me. I am not disturbed by that.
Now just imagine, what would I do if somebody was ringing the bell at my door. What if my phone was suddenly playing its typical melody? You are right: I would get up quickly and walk to the door or to the phone.
Ours is a noisy world. We hear many things throughout the day.
Psychologists speak of stimuli that reach our senses. These are being processed in our brains. Almost subconsciously we decide what to make of them. We discard as irrelevant or unimportant much of what we hear, see , taste, touch or smell. Yet if our brains recognize something as an important signal, immediate action may be required.
Now why did I care today about all the sounds and noises I described above. As I thought of writing this post, usually unimportant things became a source of inspiration to me.
I believe St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 13:1 wrote of some sounds and noises that might be discarded as unimportant or irrelevant:
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels and have not charity, I am become as a sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.” (KJV).
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” (NIV).
We have our own ways of determining if we like some sermon or words adressed to us personally. It may seem unnecessary for us to care about what somebody is saying.
St. Paul being an apostle was a professional speaker. Public speaking requires skill. You must be gifted for that.
Paul says he might speak in various ways and languages. He might modulate his voice. He might produce amazing sounds.
Yet he concludes that if he was not sincerely considering and caring for his hearers people might not bother much about what he says. His listeners might not remember much more than having heard an admirable speaker. They might not really benefit from his teaching. It might be little more than some irrelevant sound or noise to them.
We are experienced in hearing sounds and what others are trying to tell us. We are used to speaking to others also.
How could our everyday conversation, our public speaking or writing be improved by loving attitudes? Think on this.