LEARNING TO LISTEN TO WISER VOICESMar 26th, 2013 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog
Issues of Aging
Age is one of those episodes that keeps getting our attention. It interrupts us in the middle of a conversation, when we have forgotten the subject. It leads us into discussions we know nothing about, but pretend we do. It demonstrates that our attention span may be detoured. It illustrates that our capabilities at keeping the conversation going is something of a challenge.
Our once lauded ability to be astute in sustaining an intelligent discourse, is somewhat challenged. We just don’t have the sharpness of tongue nor possess the quickness of thought we once did. The consequences of such frequent reminders to our lessening of verbal skills and a sharp repertoire nudges us to be less verbal, more anxious, slightly less self confident in conversation.
Perhaps this means that the the time has come for us to be more sensitive in the exercise of our opinions, in the expression of what we had thought was our well honed skills at speechifying.
Following on a marriage ceremony, I conducted a few years ago, I declared to my spouse, that I had just had my “Frank Sinatra moment.” I had committed a major verbal faux pas, embarrassing both the bride and groom, and the wedding party. I could not flee the scene of the crime quickly enough. I declared upon arriving home that I had just blundered into a major situation reminding me that it was time to quit. There comes that time when we are reminded that our past skills, no longer so sharp, need not so much to be honed, as put away on a closet shelf, where they are little, if ever, used. Mine had come. I haven’t done a wedding since.
Silence is Golden… and sometimes wise
Silence may be the better prescribed conduct in public situations, when one has learned that what once came so “trippingly on the tongue,” no longer does so.When one finds that reaching the correct note or finding just the right word isn’t so easily done, it is time to examine one’s former and previously respected skills.
Allowing oneself to listen to more thoughtful, wiser, sharper, more carefully refined speakers may illustrate that at this age one has more yet to learn than to teach. And that, if teaching is to be done, it might well be done by those who are yet to arrive at their “Frank Sinatra” moment.