Before You Speak

While listening to several sources this weekend….

InfinityTwo repetitive things became very apparent…

  1. You need to think things through, and then put them out in words, before you know what you say is what you mean.
  2. Listening is sometimes harder than talking…

The first point comes from listening to a video talking about one of my favorite Radio programs by Garrison Keillor, Prairie Home Companion. While chatting to some students at a dinner, he observed:

You do not know what you think until you put it into words

You do not stop with this process. Constantly, you input the words and their responses, think about it some more, put the words back into the listening and reading world, and then listen to response, think about it more… It is an ever learning and doing process.

The sadness about all of this, too many people stop the process way too soon. Their position is not firmly established because they have failed to finish the never ending loop… They are incomplete. Even when we feel like we have all we need to make intelligent decisions and conversations – knowledge keeps advancing, so I keep learning!

The second point comes from listening to a series of messages by my pastor and friend, Brett Jones. As I am a pastor and regular preacher, I always listen to good thoughts in order to help frame me in my own calling and responsibility. Choosing who to listen to is very important, and when you find the right voice in your life then pausing your speaking in order to listen is a must.

There have been several who are constant speakers into my life, My brother, some elder statesmen who have proven their effective words and leadership, and then some valuable message givers from complete strangers.

So, think about Pete and Repeat, who were sitting on a fence. Pete fell off. Who was left? Pete and Repeat….

When do you get to stop? You’ll know. It’ll be when you have reached the ending of your effectiveness with others and you simply fade into the sunset. Of course, your words of wisdom will be recited for a long time into the future!