Listen to Words But Hear The Tone

Monday, August 2, 2010

Sitting in a local coffee shop a lady was deep in nothing thoughts. Thoughts we allow to enter our consciousness just to fill the emptiness. Scanning the rest of the thoughtless patrons her eyes stopped on a very business like woman sitting alone against a street view window. “What nothing thoughts was she thinking, why was there such a lost look on her face?”

Not wanting to get caught staring in questionable wonder the lady looked away. It was as her eyes settled back on the dancing liquid rings in her cup she heard the entry bell ring; another thoughtless patron had arrived. The lady noticed the shadow as it passed her seat but paid it no mind, “heading to the restroom,” she imagined. But the thought was broken by the sound of a voice, “Mary, how have you been, I haven’t seen you in long time?”

She looked up trying her best not to be noticed and to her surprise realized Mary was the businesswoman. The thoughtless patron had known her questionable muse; her name was Mary. Was this a planned meeting, had Mary been simply waiting on a friend? 

Mary looked up at the thoughtless patron, smiled, and then responded, “Why Betty I have been fine.” But the businesswoman had a startled look on her face, much like a child being discovered in a game of hide and seek, as she completed her cordial reply. “I work so much I’ve lost touch with everyone,” and now was looking away as if she expected someone else to enter the door at any minute.

The lady heard the insincerity in the businesswoman’s voice and thought surely this Betty would notice the same. But all Betty had noticed was the gesture of expecting another; she did not hear the despair in the businesswoman’s tone. Betty merely replied, “well, I just wanted to say Hello, you call me sometime.” With that she turned around, placed a to go order and waved on her way out.

The ladies eyes went back to her cup and she wondered why had Betty not heard what she had heard? She watched secretly as the businesswoman’s expression turned to gloom, it bothered her that a friend could not hear the despair in this woman’s voice. But she had to get back on her own track.

She gathered her cup and headed for the cash register. “Would you please send a cup of what ever she is drinking to her and I will pay for it? Please smile and tell her someone heard her tone,” she instructed the waiter. She was walking by the street window as the cup arrived, just in time to see the gloom turn to light.

Sometimes as friends the best thing we can do is hear the tone and not just the words. No one wants to let the world know how down he or she are or that despair is all they feel, it is up to us to hear the tone.

So do the math: 7 days 7 people, 47 followers 327 people. That is a lot of gloom we can turn to light. Be a listener; hear the tone.


welcome to my world of poetry said, 

I like that Be a Listener Hear the tone. those words speaks volumns.
Loved the post Jules.

Take care.

August 2, 2010 at 1:53 PM  
Ellie said, 

I try to hear the tone, sometimes you can see it, feel it, if you other senses are working.

Great post; We all are capable of reaching out and allowing others to be heard. Pain radiates like the rings in the cup; we need to gentle stir the soul of those touched by sadness. We all experience it...

August 2, 2010 at 2:12 PM  
arlee bird said, 

There is a lot of disconnectedness out there. It's nice to have friends who care, but it is also nice to have people who care who could one day become a friend.

Tossing It Out

August 2, 2010 at 9:50 PM  
Maurice Mitchell said, 

That opening really gives a visual of what is in her mind. Very nice.

August 2, 2010 at 11:57 PM  
kobico said, 

I admit to be a guilty of not always taking the time to really listen. This is a good reminder.

August 3, 2010 at 6:52 AM  
Jules said, 

Thanks everyone for the kind words and listening to the tone. :)

August 3, 2010 at 7:31 AM  
Mr. Stupid said, 

This was great. We need to take some time to listen. Nice post Jules.

August 3, 2010 at 7:44 AM  
Corine said, 

*sniffle, *sniffle... I just love posts which stir my emotions. Loved it... and you are so right. We need to listen and try to feel what others are feeling so we can be there for them and be what they need at that time. It is called having empathy... a rare and beautiful gift.

August 4, 2010 at 11:07 AM  
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