Niagara Gazette


June 21, 2013

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


Niagara Gazette — We hear those things that our hearts and ears are attuned, and we hear them best where we expect to hear them. That’s why we listen to certain news stations, watch certain television programs, go to certain churches, have certain friends, are a part of certain political parties and such; and hear just what we want to hear them say – this regardless of what they really say.

There were other crying children in that child’s hospital room, too. The woman focused only on her own child. As she held him, I gave him a hug, too; and then I went about the room retrieving the toys that had fallen out of the other children’s cribs. I smiled at them as I handed those toys to them. They stopped their crying, too.

I guess we all are looking for someone or something seemingly that hears us above the rest of the crowd, and then somehow makes us feel that they care.

A few hours later, when the mother and I left the room, got on the elevator and the doors closed, as the hum of the descending elevator separated her from the very same cries that she had heard when we had first arrived, she sadly looked at me.

Moments later, we all felt better – the baby who had both seen and was held by its mother; the mother for holding the baby; and I, for making the moment possible by taking her there and for helping the other children by retrieving their toys and showing them that somebody cared about them, too; if but for a moment.

It is because we hear what we want and expect to hear, whether we like it or not – even in Obama’s speech.

Contact Ken Hamilton at

Contact Ken Hamilton at

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