We are surrounded by sounds in our world. Music blaring through our headphones, the television buzzing with the latest news or even the constant chatter of videos on our computers. There are an abundance of sounds filling our ears and our minds. We get so consumed and distracted by these sounds and forget to listen to the important things in life. We forget about the birds singing early in the morning. We forget to roll our windows down on a warm summer evening and just listen to our surroundings. We forget to listen to the fire crackle when the sun goes down. We even forget to listen to the people around us. What if we took a second to turn off distracting sounds and tune in to a meaningful conversation?
At times, I find myself driving in complete silence because I am consumed with thoughts. Other times, I have the radio on full blast and I am singing every word to “Party in the U.S.A” at the top of my lungs (this is probably not good for my sound system or my voice). I have found that it is good to sing along to the radio but sometimes, turning the sound off and giving yourself time to think is very important.
This past week, I went on a drive with my teammate, Austin, to pick up some pizzas. A simple trip that ended up being a great opportunity to learn about my teammate. We could have cranked up the radio in the truck to our favorite old country songs but instead, we engaged in conversation the entire time. We talked about what we liked and did not liked, we talked about how our parents met and we exchanged silly jokes that we shared with each other. We picked up the pizzas, drove back to the house and realized we had not touched the radio dial at all. We tuned out for a brief moment and turned our attention toward something much more important; learning about each other.
Distractions consume our lives and if we aren’t careful, we may miss out on an opportunity to make a friend, learn something new or learn something about ourselves. Take some time to tune out of those distracting sounds. Listen to what the world has to offer. Instead of diving into a phone, dive into a conversation with someone you have never met before. Be 100 percent present in conversations and always listen with the intent of understanding. The world is a beautiful place with amazing people. All we have to do sometimes is listen.
Forever striving to listen intently,
2018-2019 Indiana FFA State President