A few days ago, two ex IAS officers spoke on, “Dissent in Democracy’ and since I was on the panel I said, that dissent in a democratic setup was not just disagreement about certain policies, but a citizen saying, “Please listen to me! I too have a viewpoint on the subject!”
Yes, democracy gives us the right to be heard, and the government or those who wield authority the necessity to listen to opinions of others, other than themselves. But most of those in power don’t realise or tend to ignore this very major factor and continue a one sided dialogue!
Here’s something about a President of the USA, who loved talking:
President Theodore Roosevelt had a passion for big-game hunting. When he heard that a famous British hunter was visiting the States, he invited the man to the White House in the hope of getting some pointers from him.
After a two-hour meeting at which the two of them were closeted together and left undisturbed, the Englishman emerged looking somewhat dazed.
“What did you tell the President?” a reporter asked.
“I told him my name,” said the worn-out visitor.
And here’s a President who knew how to listen:
When Calvin Coolidge was President of the United States, he saw dozens of people each day. Most had complaints of one kind or another.
One day a visiting Governor told the President that he did not understand how he was able to meet so many people in the space of a few hours. “Why, you are finished with all your visitors by dinner time,” said the Governor, “while I am often in my office till midnight.”
“Yes,” said Coolidge. “That’s because you talk.”
Maybe if the present leadership all over the world would talk less and listen to the cries of their citizens they would hear solutions to complex problems that would actually be of great help!
A lot of damage is done when a person doesn’t listen as this little joke below amplifies: The village drunkard staggered up to the parish priest, newspaper in hand, and greeted him politely. The priest, annoyed, ignored the greeting because the man was slightly inebriated.
He had come with a purpose, however, “Excuse me, Father,” he said, “Could you tell me what causes arthritis?” The priest ignored that too.
But when the man repeated the question the priest turned on him impatiently and cried, “Drinking causes arthritis! Gambling causes arthritis! Chasing loose women causes arthritis…”
A man who had been listening asked the drunkard, “Why did you ask the priest?”
“Because,” said the drunkard, “it says right here in the papers that the Bishop has arthritis..!”
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