It’s a LISTENING problem
Jennifer C. Braceras suggests, in an Op Ed in the Boston Herald, that Obama could use a lesson in humility suggesting that he, more than any Republican leader such as George W. Bush, addresses the people with a narcissism suggesting sole ownership all government policy, or as she expresses it a government “of Barack, by Barack and for Barack.”
She brings forward this example:
Here is Dear Leader on the capture of Osama bin Laden: “I directed [the CIA] to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority.” “I met repeatedly with my national security team.” “I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action, and I authorized an operation to get Osama bin Laden.”
Compare this to the language used by George W. Bush after the capture of Saddam Hussein: “The success of yesterday’s mission is a tribute to our men and women now serving in Iraq. The operation was based on the superb work of intelligence analysts who found the dictator’s footprints in a vast country. The operation was carried out with skill and precision by a brave fighting force. Boston Herald Op Ed
Within this microcosm of Ms. Braceras’ observation, lies a universe of denial; a hidden black hole of static that sucks the real kernel of truth out of the story, the picture, and any meaningful link to the larger conversation. Denial, by its very definition, is a truth, obvious to others, that we do not want to hear. In fact, we cannot hear the information because of its deep connection to “who we are”. This hidden connection is an acid meant to burn the core of our very identity. This is a human problem. Not an American Problem, a Republican problem, or a Democratic Problem. We all own this problem with the same equality expressed in the Declaration of Independence. The enemy is here, and it is us.
In one small instance, in one op ed piece, Ms. Braceras evolves one small criticism, which has no real earth shaking importance other than to illustrate, yet another, preaching to choir article about a dissatisfaction with President of the United States in the election year of 2012. Big deal. If you are a right leaning Republican, you agree. If you are a progressive leaning Democrate, you are incensed. I can point out that she is expression her own arrogant and narcissistic opinion, while defining the arrogance and narcissism of Obama. She is expressing her own, self-held opinion and using words and editorial puzzle pushing to say, “your identity should attach to my identity”, and on it on it has gone, hour by hour, day by day, on radio, TV; and now with the advent of Twitter and Face book the puzzle pushing, people pleasing, narcissistic messages and tweets have grown exponentially in to a tsunami of preaching to the choir that might convert the devil himself. If he were listening. And there is the rub. That is the hidden point that put out the eye of Rush Limbaugh, and brought Wall Street to its knees, and sent Bernie Madoff into a downward spiral.
When were you ever given instruction in “how to listen”.
With all the arrogance and narcissism I can muster, I encourage you to research, examine, and practice the skill of real listening. Not because I have mastered it, but because I have not.
(From “Meet Your Playful Self)
You are about to make a discovery. You may think of yourself as a glass-half-full sort of person, and that you react positively in most situations of your life. Now is your chance to put your reactions to a test. Try this little experiment.
Experiment # 1
Watching Yourself Listening
Go over to the radio or TV and switch it on and listen to a news report. As you listen, watch yourself to discover what you are thinking in reaction to the words you hear. Do you find that you take immediate exception to much of what you hear?
After doing this for five or ten minutes, try to evaluate your reactions as positive or negative by percentage. Where they: 50% negative 50% positive? Make your own evaluation.
Now repeat the process, but this time try saying “yes” aloud to everything you hear.
You are not being encouraged to become some dish rag conformist. You are experimenting with watching yourself listen. As you become attentive to your habitual thought process, you can access the difference in the way you feel by agreeing when holding the intention of yes….
As you watched yourself listening, you became aware of all the immediate, split second, judgments and attitudes that arose. Of course this is normal. We all do this. The big difference is, as you are doing it now, you are actively watching, whereas ordinarily the judgments creep in beneath the surface without the slightest notice.