Friday, 30 September 2011
WHY 'BEING A GOOD LISTENER' ISN'T ENOUGH
Are you an audience or a performer? People seem to be somewhat passive - they listen to music rather than make it; they watch television rather than feature on it; they read magazines (but they don't read blogs over a warm latte in the coffee-shop enough); they worship a giant kitten-god with milky offerings. Well actually they don't do that. I made that up.
And people seem to be somewhat active also - some entertain; many work (which is a performance); and most talk (which is also a performance, so include that).
It's a balance between your active time and your audience time. Around the place there are three worries concerning the balance between doing and being done to. Firstly the worry of the middle-aged woman that she's got the balance most horribly wrong so far. She's never really done anything: and suddenly it's evening time. Secondly the worry that all performances should have behind them - the question of whether the work, the hobby, the talk is objectively any good because poor performances really do irritate. And thirdly there is the damage still done by advisers who still trot out that lazy adage to Be A Good Listener. Well, be a good listener and listen to this blog if you must, but the adage literally misses the point. It's what you say after you've listened that is the point of your life. Nobody is interested in a mute.