Third Ear?
Off the Wall, Aug 8
, 2013

Knowing me by now, you may immediately think this is one of those columns that is truly “off the wall” and borders on the ridiculous. After all, anyone knowing my mind would think, “Now where is Pee Vee going to place a third ear on a person’s body somewhere other than additionally on either side of one’s head. I suppose that could be a possibility. I might write a column similar to that way of thinking in the future, but not today. What I’m about to say is some heavy-duty thinking with yielding consequences that will prove fruitful for those willing to learn.

Thad Skimmerhous was on the way home from a fishing excursion that required him to walk a moderately long distance to get to the lake of his choosing. As he crossed an open field in a park, he noticed a youth sitting on a bench hunched over very much like the statue The Thinker.

Deciding to hasten over to him before heading home, he approached the lad. Thad introduced himself to him and stated, “Hey, it looks as though you are deep in thought. Would you like to share what is on your mind?” In a matter of seconds the young man blurted out, “Yes!”

He said that his name was Mark and he had a predicament with which he was faced.

“I moved away from home and came to this town and got a job immediately, but won’t be paid until two weeks and have no place to stay. I don’t know what to do,” he stated.

This is where the third ear comes into play. Thad not only listened to him intently, but also looked at him squarely in his eyes as he spoke. The fellow could feel the concern of the angler as he spoke about how he got to the point of leaving town and realizing the fix he was in. Several suggestions were made. From there, a temporary solution was suggested which Mark decided was favorable at least for the present time.

Thad also suggested Mark pray to God about his dilemma and let the Holy Spirit guide him along the paths in the future. Mark thanked Thad for stopping by and the two departed.

Then there was Sheila. She could be seen skateboarding along the walking path in Legion Keener Park. When stopped and questioned about carrying her camera and its safety, she stated, “I do this all the time. Nothing has happened to harm it yet. ”

We then started talking and I learned she was a senior at Greater Latrobe Senior High School. She was an aspiring senior with journalistic pursuits. We talked a bit more about that profession. I noticed throughout our little talk something very special.

I asked her if she had ever heard of the term, “Third Ear,” to which she answered to the negative. I explained what it was all about – listening intently and looking in another’s eyes while doing so. Sheila then surprised me when she stated, “My grand dad taught me that last night!” It made the exchange of thoughts much more worthwhile.

Here’s a question for you. Have you ever been in a large room full of people?

Someone approaches you and right away you get the feeling there is going to be an exchange of thoughts and it raises what I call “hope expectation.” Instead the person addressing you, he states, “Hi Bob, how are you? Haven’t seen you in a while,” at the same time looking all around the room while make his introductory speech? What’s missing here? You’re right, listening with intention and constant eye contact. Those are the elements that make people feel good about themselves. On the other hand, cut them out and the insecure will feel depressed because they were used. To top it off, when the person spots someone else and leaves, how do you think Bob felt?

Would you become obnoxious and state, “Hey Jack, where ya goin’?” or just take it in stride conversing with the persons you tagged onto when you entered the room. I would hope the latter.

We all need to practice using the “Third Ear” approach. First of all, we will probably gain more information than ever before. Second, it will make those talking to us feel as though they are important. And third, we will feel good about ourselves as though we did our part to contribute to the conversation even though we may not have said a word.

The “Third Ear” concept has to do with two of our senses. God gave them to us for a purpose. But He also gave us free will. The question remains “Which one are you going to choose?” What would you think God would want? I think you know the answer to that.

- Paul J. Volkmann
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