Saturday, June 25, 2022
Tuesday, June 21, 2022
If we want to understand before we are understood, we must deploy what John Steinbeck referred to as "a good ear." A good ear is one that hears below the surface. Every text has a subtext, and it is usually the subliminal messages that have the most power and truth. It is a rule of human nature that we often say what we do not mean. We use words that are not true to how we feel. We distort and hide and obfuscate, usually because we fear presenting the real us and being rejected for it. Given this, if we want to be deep listeners we must listen between the lines to the silences, the emotions, the doubts, the deep-seated beliefs that influence a person's life, choices and self-image. We listen for the untold story.
-Adam S. McHugh, The Listening Life
Powerful and ingenious minds, taking as postulates that the powers expressly granted to the government of the Union are to be contracted by construction into the narrowest possible compass and that the original powers of the States are retained if any possible construction will retain them may, by a course of well digested but refined and metaphysical reasoning founded on these premises, explain away the Constitution of our country and leave it a magnificent structure indeed to look at, but totally unfit for use. They may so entangle and perplex the understanding as to obscure principles which were before thought quite plain, and induce doubts where, if the mind were to pursue its own course, none would be perceived. In such a case, it is peculiarly necessary to recur to safe and fundamental principles to sustain those principles, and when sustained, to make them the tests of the arguments to be examined.