Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Thought for the Day

As delivered at BBC Radio Bristol this morning:

'We never heard a rabbi with such authority', said the people who had the privilege of listening to Jesus teaching.

'Your ideas are strange', said the people who listened to St Paul preach in Athens. 'We want to hear some more.'

We want to hear some more.

I too learn by listening. Maybe you could have guessed that from someone who is clearly friends with the radio. But it was a while before I grasped it.

Recently I've been listening to a lot of podcasts - TED talks, back editions of science programmes and radio shows. Not everyone wearing headphones is listening to music. I actually feel I'm getting smarter as I walk along. Insert your own punchline.

I love the fact that Tom Pearson, physics teacher at Nailsea school, has a chance to experience astronaut training in Alabama. Tom has a podcast. And writing about that, amongst other things, helped get him selected for his training experience which will help him as an educator. That and the NASA flight suit he will get to keep.

For all the fantastic advances in teaching methodology there is little substitute for listening to someone being interesting about something you know little about and they love. It may also explain our enduring love for John Noakes and Blue Peter.

I'm no scientist. But I enjoy listening to those who are. And maybe one of the secrets of being a parish priest for many years is enjoying hearing people's stories. We all love to listen to well-informed and passionate people. And everyone is well-informed and passionate about themselves.

A wise mentor once told me that the reason we have two ears and one mouth is so we can do twice as much listening as talking. So I'll shut up. Thanks for listening.

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