1. So true! I work about our listening and talking skills becoming weaker due to all of the texting. People no longer talk to one another. While having lunch with my daughter-in-law, we watched as two teens sat across the table from each other texting one another. Sad!

    1. That is sad but true, Michelle,

      I’ve witnessed this – and even in expensive restaurants. People pay top dollars, gulp down the food, and ignore the lovely ambiance and their company. Everyone focuses on their hand-helds, and look up to say a word or two at most. Amazing.

      Conversation is a dying art.

      All good wishes,

  2. True. Have started feeling our school curricula is inadequate. If a person is in trouble, or stranded, is it more important to know how to light a fire or the year in which the first battle of Panipat was fought.

    1. Hello Ankur,

      Well, the First Battle of Panipat is very important. Isn’t it? I did not know the right royal fight between my uncle Pani and aunt Pati had found its way into history books.

      That as it might be, you touched on something which had always troubled me since I was a kid in school when teachers expected us to memorise dates a monarch ascended a throne or how many wives he had.

      One day, I asked with uncharacteristic boldness—because though the teachers claimed to welcome questions, the reality was, students were not expected to ask questions in class—How one lighted a fire.

      ‘What?’ – That was the teacher’s reaction.

      ‘Fire, sir,’ I said with a deep swallow, ‘how did people light fires in the old days?’

      I had assumed he would say they used flint and cotton—something which I subsequently looked up on my own. Instead he posed a difficult question regarding an unrelated topic. When I could not answer, he poked my stomach, dug his fingers painfully into my shoulder and forced me to sit down. Then he made fun of me to the embarrassed laughter of the class who felt obliged to laugh—lest he turned on them. He became my favourite teacher and I was sure I was his favourite punching bag.

      Oh well, he was not my teacher—never was. Perhaps in later years, I was his—but then again, I don’t think so because his cup was full.


      Bags of trash borne high
      Future castles need building
      Craftsmen without tools

      Haiku: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

  3. Today’s culture encourages passive listening in the form of spoon-fed videos and movies which we feed to our children with almost unquestioning abandon. I assume that this listening is accompanied by comprehension although I have to admit that much of it sends me instantly to sleep.

    1. Hello Jane,

      Yes to “comprehension” and your wrap regarding putting one “instantly to sleep” brought out a smile.

      The word choice – “succinctly” – was a hint that the speaker resists the temptation to drone. But you are right – one can be succinct and boring.

      On a more serious note, I witness “new parents” who set their all too young child in front of a screen – TV or iPad type distraction. The consequences of such surrogate parenting are yet to be fully appreciated I reckon.

      All good wishes,

      Time thief consumes lives
      Quality time all but lost
      Orphans in one’s homes

      Haiku: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

  4. I liked your emphasis on interest. We get a lot of people looking at us when we speak to them, but their eyes are glazed over thinking of something else. 🙂

    1. Hello Ian,

      Yes, it is rather rude at several levels when a person pretends to hear but we see through their pretense.

      Trust you are enjoying the family visit.


      Present in body
      Fixed smile and faked interest
      Feel the insult fly

      Haiku: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

  5. It’s a pity that during our time, in the Asian context, children should be seen and not heard. Public speaking was also not a norm in school. On the dining table, we are not allowed to talk but to eat silently. Follow instructions from parents, the elders and teachers without questioning. These culminated to a non-thinking and inarticulate culture. We marvel and are entertained by speakers who communicates well. I fully agree that communication is a skill to nurture from young.

    1. Hello Windy,

      All you say is true. Asian, and by this I mean Oriental, custom is to remain silent.

      In the 1960s, a talkative person was viewed as “showing off” his knowledge. This was the case especially in school where teachers demanded absolute obedience. Questions were not encouraged during my time in school and if anyone dared to ask – he was more likely ridiculed by the teacher. Couple this with rote learning – yes, silence was cherished as not only golden but a much sought after attribute in a person.

      Thankfully, such notions have changed/are changing. Children are encouraged to speak up. But now, it is tilting. They speak up but don’t listen. LOL!

      Trust the week has been good for you.

      Luv and hugz,

      Think before speaking
      Slashing words take time to heal
      Many dreams shattered

      Haiku: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

  6. Great thoughts, Eric, and I believe listening is becoming even more vital nowadays than speaking. 🙂 Hugs for a terrific Tuesday, my friend…

    1. Hello Lauren,

      You’re right. What with all the “noise” – listening is becoming a lost art. If one could only see the sound waves criss-crossing the air around us.

      My week has been good.

      Wishing you all the best for the weekend,

      Pelting noise surrounds
      Clamouring for attention
      Who is listening?

      Haiku: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

    1. Hello Colin,

      No, I did not do the emoji but bought them for my use.

      The words are not mine too – I merely rearranged them 🙂

      P/s. As you probably guessed, I had some smart alecky tea this morning 🙂

      All already said
      Old wisdom clothed in new wear
      A thousand word frame

      Haiku: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

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