Learning to listen can save your life

Oncoming Train by Steve Ohlsen on http://oncoming.usegrid.net/

Oncoming train in the fog

Early one foggy morning, I was driving the ’54 Willys on my way to work in Sumter. I had to cross a railroad track that was mostly rusty, and I never paid a lot of attention to it. I never saw a train come through there, and I have no idea where it would go if it did. Lots of places have old tracks that no one has bothered to pull up for the scrap iron—at least back in the mid-70s.

I was running late this particular morning. Lucky for me that the radio was not cranked up loud. I’m not even sure that station wagon had a radio, or if it worked.

Things sound weird in the fog. I was not quite sure I heard something, but I decided to slow down, as I remembered that there was that train track somewhere ahead of me. Sure enough, just as I got near it, there was the train, blowing its whistle and chugging along.

Ten seconds faster, and I would have been dead, scattered along the meadow.  I’ve seen cars that were hit, and this one was pretty fragile.

It pays to listen.  Maybe if I had learned how to listen to what wasn’t being said, in the fog of every day life, I could have saved the marriage. Maybe I talked too much, or just kept the radio cranked up, and never heard the whistle.

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2 Responses to Learning to listen can save your life

  1. Annabell says:

    Such an important lesson to remember! I always feel like my family doesn’t ACTUALLY hear me when I speak. But I also know I could learn to listen better as well, sometimes attempting to muti-listen when in reality that doesn’t EVER work out too well =P Glad you didn’t get smashed up by a train 😉