I had the opportunity to watch a very good movie titled, "To Save A Life". This movie was based on the lifestyle of typical teenagers who were faced with problems. The movie started out with scenes of two young boys who were best of friends. The one friend played the role of a hero to prevent the other from being hit by a car. The heroic friend (Roger) who took the hit from the car ended up with a permanent limp. The other friend (Jake) had a dream to play professional basketball and got caught up in the scene of being a "popular jock". As a junior in high school, when one of the basketball games ended, this one friend (Jake) saved by the heroic friend (Roger) is now rising up as a "basketball star" and getting the attention of the girls in school. He was approached by one of the girls and invited out to a party. When he was getting his ego stroked for the newfound attention, he attempted to include Roger. However, Roger was not well received by the other "cool" kids in high school so in effort to exclude him from the invite, they made up an excuse that there was only room for one person in the car.
At this point, Jake made a decision to ditch the plans he already had made with Roger to go with the girl to a party. Jake told Roger that he made other plans.
This is where I would talk about the quality of friendship but I would rather take the story of this movie somewhere else. So please stay with me on this.
Jake’s rising stardom and decision to abandon his best friend started during their freshman year of high school. During their senior year, Jake is seriously involved with this girl he met during his freshman year and no longer pays attention to his friend that he abandoned two years prior. Two years went by and Jake never shared anything about his friendship with Roger. When he drove by in his pickup truck and his girlfriend sitting next to him, people would make fun of Roger in the parking lot because of his limp and considered "not cool". Jake would watch his friend being mistreated but would do nothing about it.
Then one school day, Roger walked through the school hallways as any other typically normal day, and started shooting his gun. There were kids that ran out of the immediate area and then there were kids that ducked for cover. One of the kids that ducked for cover was Jake. Jake approached Roger and said that he doesn’t want to do this. Roger ‘s response was "like you really cared" and then turned the gun on himself and committed suicide.
After the incident, Jake was standing afar off at the funeral and counseling was provided at the high school. Jake was attempting to blow off the incident and move on with his dream to become a professional basketball player and being the "cool jock" that he was and with having the prettiest girl in school as his girlfriend. Counseling was directly offered to Jake but he blew if off as if he had no need of it.
I will stop here with the story of the movie. There are several things I could address about this movie. One is the obvious, which is about friendship. Jake abandoning his childhood best friend was cruel. Even worse, he acted as if he didn’t know him for the next two years.
What really got to me about this story the most and gripped my heart was that people don’t listen.
In my own personal life, I have come across many people. I was born and raised in Michigan. I lived in 3 different counties in Michigan for 37 years of my life. Another 10 years of my life, I lived in 3 different counties in Florida. Another year, I lived in one county in Maine.
What I have learned during these recent 10 years of my life is that people don’t listen. Many people I have come across do most of the talking. I have had several experiences where I have been stuck on the phone for an hour and another experience I had being stuck on the phone for two hours just listening to them talk non-stop. I got lucky if I was able to interject and get a word in about the subject of our conversation at the time. After 45 minutes going by of listening to the other person basically talk non-stop, I have had enough and I am ready to get off the phone. Several times, I want to have opportunity to speak but don’t because I am stuck with listening to someone else’s life story.
One time, I put the phone down and walked away to do something else for few minutes and picked the phone back up and the person was still talking non-stop. After having these experiences about 3 times in my life already, I have learned to screen the caller and not answer the phone if that "non-stop talker" is calling. I have become to value writing emails more than talking on the phone for that reason. I don’t like being stuck on the phone for more than ½ hour or 45 minutes. Any longer than that is just too much of my time being spent on listening to someone giving his or her life story. This is obviously someone who is very lonely and likes to talk a lot.
I understand why some people are lonely because there are other people just like me who don’t want to sit and listen to someone’s life story for an hour on the phone when there are much more important things to be doing.
I have learned to value my time and spend it wisely and out of these experiences, I have learned that "silence is golden".
What I would like to address to you is that, as a people, we need to become better listeners. I am basically addressing this to those who like to talk non-stop. Those who like to talk so much, you will soon discover that life is not so lonely when you stop talking so much and actually start listening to what the other person has to say. Communication is a two-way street; it involves listening just as much as doing the talking.
If you find yourself doing most of the talking, I encourage you to learn to be more quiet and take the time to listen to the other person speak. You will be surprised how you may actually learn something when you listen.
Listening is the more important part of communication than talking. Think about it! God gave us two ears and only one mouth.
When you do listen, be an active listener. In order to become an active listener, you need to take an interest in the other person and care about that person to listen more intently.
What I am learning to understand is that a person who is constantly talking about themselves is very self-absorbed with themselves. They don’t care about anyone else and they made themselves to be more important than others. It does take discipline to stop talking so much, but with God’s help you can do anything that seems impossible.
When you begin to put someone else before yourself and value others, then you will become a better listener.
We live in a society where you are driving the speed limit and people are speeding past you, people are blowing the horn or flipping you the finger, and people running red lights. So often I am yelling in my car telling people, "SLOW DOWN"!! Now, I make a point of praying to God that He will slow the drivers down. If someone runs me off the road, I pray for God to teach that person how to drive.
People are just in too much of a hurry today. We have become like loose cannons; a very destructive people who do not value life or others. We are surrounded by so much death and destruction and we have become destructive ourselves.
People, we really do need to slow down. We need to talk less and listen more and care more about others around us.
As we become better listeners and start caring more about others around us, we just may become like the Jake in the movie who learned to listen and care about others and actually save another high school student from committing suicide.
This movie doesn’t have to be based on a true story to learn from it. It all honesty, I would rather watch a heart-gripping story like this one than watch something funny. I like to watch movies to learn and grow from it. Laughter may be good for a season but it doesn’t bring about the change in our lives that we need to make. If we do not grow and mature on a regular basis, then we become stagnate and let me tell you, I’ve been around many people caught up in the flesh. And the flesh stinketh!
People who commit suicide are people who feels so alone and that no one else cares. We have so many people in this world and yet, we can feel alone because too many people today just don’t care about others around them. So many people are only out for themselves and care less about others.
You want to live in peace? World peace begins with YOU!!
Remember that "silence is golden" and it truly is! I have learned to value the peace & quiet that I get in my home. Again, let’s talk less and listen more and start caring about others around us. Only then will we begin to experience a sweet peace in our lives and healthier relationships.
May God bless you and keep you in His tendering loving care!
John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: