Niagara Gazette

Columns

June 21, 2013

HAMILTON: Because we hear what we want and expect to hear

Niagara Gazette — How did you like President Obama’s Berlin speech?

Did you hear what you expected to hear and what both your ears and your heart was tuned to hear?

I heard a speaker on television the other day claiming that in a park full of playing children that he could distinguish the sound of his children’s laughter or cries from those of all of the other children.

It took me a second to process that; but then I flashed back to when I was dating a woman whose toddling child was at the children’s hospital in Buffalo — this, before I had children. I took her to visit the child; and as we took the elevator to the child’s floor, when the doors opened, there was a cacophony of laughter and cries. I was surprised when she immediately turned to me and said that her baby was crying.

Half of the children on that floor were crying! Then the mother turned and darted toward her child’s room. I followed; and sure enough, the child’s face was wet with tears; and he was comforted by her presence as she reached into the crib to retrieve him. The mother knew her baby’s cry, even when those cries were mingled with the cries of so many others. But, as she knew her baby, she would have also expected him to have been crying under the conditions of separation and hospitalization.

But placement is a part of recognition, too; and that is consistent with expectation. It was so in the case of the mother, and in so many other things.

During my divorce, the ex- and the kids just happened to have been parking at the same store at the same time as I. I did not expect that; and even though I loved my babies with all of my heart, had tickled them a thousand times, changed their diapers and fed them and heard them both laugh and cry, I still did not recognize the two little boys who were running toward me with outstretched arms in the parking lot of that store. It was not until they were right upon me and I could clearly see their faces that I recognized who they were. They leaped into my arms and we hugged.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • NIA Hamilton, Ken mug HAMILTON: The Bills stadium and the proverbs We are what we are because of the way that we think, and we got the nothingness that have as a result of it.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA DeLuca, Michele mug DELUCA: Say it ain't so, Joe I had just parked my car in front of the Gazette offices on Niagara Street last week Thursday when a man approached me and stood by my door.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Tom T mug TOM'S CORNER: Bringing your own parts to repair shop is a bad idea The Gazette has partnered with local automotive expert Tom Torbjornsen to publish his weekly national column. Tom's Corner will appear in Thursday's editions.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: Tourism operators ready for new season Niagara area hospitality industry people will mark National Tourism Week, May 3 to May 11, with special events focusing on the assets that shape the Cataract City as a major destination.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Bradberry, Bill mug BRADBERRY: Neither long ago, nor far away ... If you did not catch documentary filmmaker Ken Burns' latest masterpiece, "The Address" on PBS last night, it will be well worth your time to look for the re-run, or to find it online as soon as possible.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Confer, Bob Mug CONFER: Don't go soft on teenage criminals New York is one of two states â€" North Carolina being the other â€" that automatically prosecute 16- and 17-year-olds as adults in misdemeanor and felony cases. Other states do so only on a conditional basis at the whim of the presiding judge.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Higgs, Norma mug HIGGS: Gothic architecture -- a fitting structure for church services Before we get involved in the new church building, we need to know what happened to the former structure on First Street which was utilized for St. Peter's Church services for 30 years until 1880 when the present stone church was ready for use.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • GLYNN: Local interest mounts in India's big election A number of people whose families have emigrated from India to the U.S. -- a solid sector of the hotel and restaurant business in the Niagara area -- are expected to hear a message today directly from the homeland.

    April 13, 2014

  • SINGER: Locating the next Shaq or Bird? With hallowed college hoops programs thriving around here, plus March NCAA games held in Buffalo (featuring champ-to-be UConn, upstart Dayton and a winnowed 'Cuse), will some new Shaq or Bird be located?

    April 13, 2014

  • Rick Pfeiffer COPS NOTEBOOK: Road rage and turkey shooting

    It would be fair to say Ryan Jackson, of Youngstown, has had a difficult couple of weeks.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page