Dumbfounded and Aghast Series, Vol I, No. 4.
Welcome back to the circle of The Dumbfounded and Aghast. Since our last meeting I have given a lot of thought as to how I can best use my experiences to make your ahhhh… ‘experience’ better. I do not want to be another one of those who tell you what you can read on the internet or in the Orientation Manuel they give you. I want to give you something that is dear to my heart and Based upon my life experiences. I have found the best asset you can develop is to learn to listen, not just with your ears, anyone (well almost) can hear noise. When you actually listen you will find that you do not have to ask as many questions to learn what you really want to know. However, this will require a lot of concentration. There is so much more to listening than just our ears. Our whole existence depends upon our ability to listen whether we are reading or in a room full of people talking. Hearing is also visual and seeing and hearing for dogs is in their nose, which allows them to listen and see so much more. As the Immortal Emerson said “What you do shouts so loudly, I cannot hear what you say.” I think even a person who is born deaf has the equivalent of an “I hear you” thought. Words are great but… well they only go so far.
In Prison (our out,I think) if you listen closely with your entire ‘perceptive appearance’ most of your questions will never have to be asked. Just sitting in the fish bowl (the holding cell) waiting to go into a prison chances are someone has already been there. So you are sitting there as ahhh…a fresh fish wanting to know what is ahead. Chances are again that someone who has been there before is telling someone what all is ahead. You will have to listen with your whole being as if… well your life does depend on it (It could). There is something about the brain that will sort through the chatter, If you are concentrating, and anything that is extremely important will go straight to the memory and be recorded. I think that is why we as humans are still around. Remember that if you are talking you are not listening, and have the chance of sticking your foot in your on mouth. You are not listening if you are thinking of the brilliant question you want to ask. The mind is really only capable of one task In Complete Completion at one time. You will find this a wise practice for each situation you find yourself in. It is not just for prison it is for developing a way doing better in all things.
If you put this into practice daily. Listen to someone, or something on TV then wait 30 minutes and write down every thing you remember. That will give you a clue where you are as far as a good listener. They say learning to sing is a matter of learning to listen. I can’t think of anything that could not be improved upon, by improving our listening skills. This could be turned into one of your greatest assets, if practiced the whole time you are in prison, on the plane, in Wal Mart. I listen because I am a writer and information is food for me. I must warn you that there is also the danger of being exposed to a very large amount of dazzling but dumbfounding and Aghast bull-shit that will con-found your ears in the process. Take the diamonds and leave the dirt.
Watch a person when you are really listening to him, you’ll see little sparks and flashes in their eyes and you can hear the sounds of the penny dropping. Believe me when you give listening all you have, you will get all that person has. And Please! Remember to always say thank you! and please! Yes, even here in the big house. And Remember to Flush!
Peace & Light