When my son, Jonathan, was much younger, I would try to help him with some of his tasks, whether it was his homework, chores or even just plain, simple advice. Many a time he would look at me in exasperation and say, “I know that, dad.” Even when he did solicit my help directly, he would listen, but not “hear” what I had to say.
Now, mind you, I do not claim to be a paragon of excellent advice or wisdom, but many of the things I told him would have saved him tremendous amounts of time, frustration and heartaches. As Jonathan grew older, he learned to listen a bit more, so instead of discounting most of what he heard, he would evaluate, weigh the merits or lack of, and then make choices based on what was consistent with his idea of right and wrong or good and bad.
The Universe speaks to us all the time. It doesn’t always do it in ways that we expect. Sometimes a
message comes from a friend and at other times, it may be someone we do not really care for who brings a very clear message to us. There are times when the messages are sent through dreams, or books, or radio, TV, the Internet and even the more prosaic form of the telephone.
If we close our minds and think that “we know that already,” we may miss the one little point that could have saved us a lot of trouble. Keeping an open mind gives us an opportunity to evaluate the communications we receive and then make decisions based on our own true feelings.
The story is told about some scientists who went into an apple orchard to study apples. They were busy with their notepads and pencils, measuring the dimensions of the apples they found. They observed and noted the size, weight and colors of the fruit while off to their left sat one of their fellow scientists under a large apple tree. He was quietly eating an apple.
All the other scientists knew about apples. The one who was eating the apple knew “apples.” Knowing about something does not necessarily mean knowing the thing. Knowing about God does not mean knowing God. Knowing about the secrets and laws of the Universe will not do us much good if there is not the deep knowing in our hearts and souls.
There have been hundreds of thousands of people who’ve read one or more of my books. Among the many wonderful email I receive would be one or two short, to the point comments saying something to the effect of, “I know all that already. I’ve been practicing all that stuff for years and so you haven’t told me anything new.”
My feeling is that there is really nothing new. As the Book of Ecclesiastes says, “There is nothing new under the sun.” What I think is new is the interpretation we bring to things, the different way we look at the information we receive. We can choose to see if, perhaps, there are any gems in what we hear and see or any wisdom in what we read or listen to.
By opening up our minds to new possibilities, we may find that we are being led by that glorious, higher self within us to explore possibilities that have the potential to bring us peace, joy, wealth, success — all good things.
If someone tells you that you shouldn’t do something because it doesn’t work, what that person is really saying is that it doesn’t work for him. Listen to your heart, gather all the information and let the Universe show you how to make it work.
Jonathan listens a lot more these days. He reflects and thinks about what he hears, sees or reads. He is willing to listen to points of view that are totally different from his own without getting defensive as he used to. As a result, he has become more tolerant, more compassionate and, in many ways, more successful. He has grown into a fantastic young man who, I am sure, will bring much credit to all that he chooses to do.
Let us not be like the person in the little ditty who says:
“In matters controversial, my perception’s really fine. I always see both points of view — the one that’s wrong and mine.”
Let us, instead, listen to all that comes to our notice and after reflecting on it, exhibit the qualities of tolerance, peace, understanding and compassion. And as Commander Spock would say, “Live long and prosper.”