There is a good reason why God gave man one mouth and two ears. Being not privy to divine revelations, I am in no position to speak on behalf of God, but perhaps it has something to do with the supposition that man should listen twice as much as he/she should talk.
We humans are a huge nation of talkers, with perhaps millions of languages. The spoken word is a strong tool of communication. Preachers save souls, Imams convert pagans, inspirational voices change the word and the meaning of life, and teachers impart invaluable knowledge.
But by the same spoken word, irresponsible people spread the messages of hate while rumour mongers master the art of ‘stabbing others in the back.’
It is said that a lie can travel halfway around the earth while the truth is still putting on its shoes. We live in a world where people believe in the power of their worlds, we desire to be smooth talkers, we want to talk our way out of anything and everything.
We become like the latter-day spin doctors, say anything that can get you out of a tight spot and into a soft one.
We men are so eager to blow our own trumpets, talk about our achievements, real or imagined, visible and invisible. We don’t talk about our failures; we want to be seen as the big achievers, carbon prints of God’s perception of a good wise man. We are all talk and no ear.
We forgot that the most virtuous character of a wise man is the talent of being a good listener.
Think about it, God and whichever higher person you believe is forever silent choosing to manifest himself in actions rather than in a scary bellowing voice, like the lord of a small town lording over everybody.
Instead, we his people just talk and talk and talk. No wonder the phone companies are a real big deal.
Napoleon Hill in his “Laws of Success” writes: “It takes but a second to administer a rebuke, but it may take a life-time for the one who has been rebuked to forget it.” There goes another of the spoken word’s vices. The tongue is like a sword, it can kill millions when a real sword can do much less.
One perhaps would say, if one would choose to say less and listen more, then others will talk more and listen less, then they would have everything in the world to lose.
But then Napoleon Hill sums it up well. “If a man has built a sound character it makes but little difference what people say about him, because he will win in the end.”
This Sunday, learn to listen more and talk less and ensure that the little is meaningful.