All of It
Off the Wall, August 13,

James Omnivitz, Tolito, Nebraska, was looking forward to a meeting he was asked to attend. He got up at the crack of dawn, showered and shaved as he did most mornings when he had to work.

Since he was not invited to many events, he was eager to attend and know he would be welcomed. It was not that he couldn’t go to other gatherings, but the fact that he could not drive provided more of a hindrance preventing him from participating.

Since this grouping was some seven blocks away, he was able to walk and would leave in plenty of time to get to where he was going. And so he left allowing extra time to get to his destination with 20 minutes to spare.

Upon arriving, he met Brian Brosemini, extended his arm and grasped his friend’s hand with a firm grip. Brian returned with a similar grasp. It wasn’t long thereafter that Brian introduced James to a fellow business associate, Alex Wanabet.

All was going well until questions started to spring forth from each. In the midst of James’ inquiry to Alex, he started to answer, but in the middle of his statement turned abruptly to another person in the room and started talking to him.

The fact of the matter was that James never got to learn what he asked was insulting at least he felt so. “Why would Alex be so disrespectful as to not only cut off the answer to his question, but separate himself from the trio,” he asked himself.

In order to put the pieces together of understanding the whole topic at hand, he would have had to known all the thoughts from this colleague which he never got. The question that remains is this. When the meeting is over, should James approach Alex and ask him why he did what he did, or leave sleeping dogs lie, or whatever the saying is? In my opinion, I believe it wouldn’t hurt for James to approach Alex and ask him why he acted as he did. I think it would definitely clear the air.

In another situation, Arlo Buster Washington, was one of seven individuals sitting around a table discussing ways of conduct and worldly situations. It was a get-together held each Saturday morning whereby men of all ages got together to chat, eating some bake goods, drinking freshly brewed coffee and hashing over the subject of the day.

All was going smoothly until one chap piped up and asked, “Why did you do what you did?” Arlo was not prepared for this confrontation, but decided to tell the truth. By unloading the facts and disclosing all, he felt this might help others understand his reasons for committing certain acts. In his mind what he had done was the right thing as it all fell into place.

Toward the end, Joseph Doeful, inserted the statement, “That’s enough. Let’s move on,” whereby Walter said, “You asked the question. I am just trying state what was asked of me,” he said.

In my opinion, again, Arlo was trying to clear the air, hoping his fellow comrades would understand what and why he did it. He hadn’t told many up to this point, and hoped the group would come to understand the situation. On top of that, even though all things said in that room were to remain confidential, he knew the word would spread.

In most cases, facts considered confidential, when shared, lead to distrust. Further evidence reveals lack of disclosure when such acts occur. But in this case, Arlo didn’t mind. He was hoping it would lead to a wakeup call to others.

How often do we hear of incidents where people have different opinions and listeners fail to construe explanations? Somewhere along the line something bugs them and they don’t want to hear all of it. They’ll shake their head, look the other way, and even redirect their attention question to something else.

I’ve always considered disrespect as one of the evils of the world. I believe we all should listen “with both ears” and look the speaker in the eyes and grasp mentally what he is trying to say. Do we have to side with his opinions? Not to any strength of one’s imagination. But if one asks us a question, it’s our obligation to look him in the eye and be attentive.

Have you ever spoken to God, calling to the Holy Spirit for an answer? Try it!

- Paul J. Volkmann
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