Seniors Communicating: That’s All I’ve Got to Say About That!

Jun 4th, 2010 | By | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Knowing when to speak and when to keep one’s silence is an important lesson of maturity for senior citizens.  The wonderful film, “Forrest Gump,” illustrated that well when Forrest knew to say “That’s all I’ve got to say about that.”  Brilliant.  Some of us seniors are still at the task of learning how to control our tongues.  Verbosity is really not a virtue.  Elders deciding that having an opinion on every subject is not an indication of intelligence.  Listening is.  Listening to others as they weave their story or share an insight allows for learning.  Interrupting or refusing others the chance at speaking are both rude and unpleasant.

Coming to the time when one recognizes the “Forrest Gump” method, is that time when adult maturity has begun to set in, no matter your age.  As much as you may have read on any subject, it is always surprising to find that others have done their homework as well.  Learning from others is a symbol of genuine intelligence, humility and grace.  Being willing to acquiesce to another’s point of view may be the most gracious thing you can ever do, even if later they are proven wrong. 

Abraham Lincoln said of a colleague on one occasion,”He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know.” Let us hope such cannot be said of us.  Learning to listen means that the imposition of boundaries in conversation allows our listeners to be rescued from the verdict of Samuel Johnson, “He is not only dull himself, he is the cause of dullness in others.” Being a conversationalist with skill includes knowing and acting on the Gump principle. 

I had rather spend an hour with a person who knows how to manage and manuever an enlightening conversation than a day with one who has never had one. 

“That’s all I’ve got to say about that!” 

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