You Hear But You Don't Listen

"Who are we to think we deserve something for nothing?"

There are 365 pages in the book of life that we have every year. Every day is a new page and every month is a new chapter for us to read and analyze. It’s both selfish and foolish to think that every day is a guarantee because it’s not. We sometimes go about every day with the same mundane routine and we tend to just go through the motions. We generally want much more from life than we are even willing to invest in it. Who are we to think we deserve something for nothing? Let’s not kid ourselves and let’s not be naïve! We get what we put in, in certain areas such as: relationships, work, fitness, finances. Yet, people often are ignorant to what they have until it’s gone. You never see the opportunities or blessings until doors are closed or blessings are stripped away from you. Hopefully, I haven’t lost you by now with what I’m saying, and if I have, I’ll assume that the message was never really for you to begin with. The blind long for the ability to see and the deaf long for the ability to hear. Funny, how we have sight but can still lack attentiveness and have hearing but still lack active listening.

"I’ve never had much experience with people who are deaf, so I was excited for the opportunity."

Let’s take it back to November 2017 when a new opportunity presented itself. I knew no matter what was going on in life I wanted and still want to be a Doctor of Physical Therapy. When it rains it pours, and when your pockets hurt your pride hurts along with it. I had been out of work for about six to seven months, and in between blessings. I use that terminology because to me being broke is a state of mind. You might be struggling, but don’t fall into that negativity. Anyways, I got an interview to work at a call center called Captel. Before landing this interview, I struggled for months trying to find a job that would be in unison with my school schedule. In addition, I needed to have flexibility to get my observation hours for the program. Captel provided me that opportunity I had been craving for 7 months. I went in for the interview and nailed it (like I knew I would) and my boy that works there told me the job was easy. I’m thinking, “Wow, easy and flexible? Yeah I need that!” During the interview process, I found out my job position would be captioning assistant. What does that entail? Captioning or being the middle man to communicate to people who are hearing impaired. I’ve never had much experience with people who are deaf, so I was excited for the opportunity.

Don’t forget, I was in between blessings, so at this point I’m honestly just excited to be making money again. Now, I won’t go into details about conversations I hear while captioning because that would be a breach of my contract with my job. That’s fine though, because that’s not what I want to talk to you about anyway. I want to connect how I started this article with what I have learned from my job. I found a new appreciation for people who hearing impaired and hard of hearing. Do you know anyone who is hearing impaired? If you do, you may be able to connect with what I’m saying, and if not, stay with me to get the gist of my message. After being at my job, I couldn’t even begin to fathom how life would be if I lost my hearing. I get annoyed when I finish swimming and my ears are clogged, and that’s only temporary. These people go through life like this longing to have what we so often take for granted. Imagine not being able to hear the voices of your loved ones, your favorite music, or the most beautiful sounds nature has to offer us. It really is a scary thought for you to think about isn’t it?

"..we can be blind to the opportunities and blessings we have until we no longer have them."

After reading this article, go listen to your favorite song of all time or your favorite song for right now. Focus on how it makes you feel and how you would feel if you could never listen to it again. It’s crazy right? This is what I meant when I say we can be blind to the opportunities and blessings we have until we no longer have them. Put yourself in the shoes of someone less fortunate today and remember things can always be worse than they are. It took me being the ears for the deaf to be able to appreciate being able to hear. It made me think about my dream of being a physical therapist. Every day we will be faced with clients who in some shape or fashion is not at one hundred percent. These things will range from stroke patients who lose feeling on one side, patients who tore a meniscus or ACL, and the list goes on and on. This is not at all a profession for the uncompassionate. I realized dealing with the hearing impaired though this is just a temporary job and situation I was put in it to learn and grow from it.

"I’m getting more reps being a servant because that is what we will be as doctors of physical therapy."

I get up at 4AM every morning to go caption and start my day of being the ears for other people. Some days are tough getting up so early, but I look at each page and each chapter as a lesson. Every client I caption for, is another brick laid for my foundation of being a physical therapist. You may say, "how is that possible?", and I say service. I’m getting more reps being a servant because that is what we will be as doctors of physical therapy. So, take every day and be grateful for the opportunity to live life to the fullest, especially if you have all your five senses. If you don’t so what? You still have life and that is more than enough to be grateful for. The only difference between me and my coworkers that hate our job is perspective. I choose to look at the good in my job and the lesson I’m being taught. I encourage you to do the same in school, work, relationships, and finances. Whether things are going well or not, there is always something to be learned. Make sure you keep your eyes and ears open for the lessons life will teach you every day. This will significantly help prepare us for meaningful and powerful careers in physical therapy. To those who choose not to live this way it’s fine but if you got this far in reading just not to heed my advice this message is for you. Your eyes are open, but you choose not to see, and you ultimately prove my point. You hear but you don’t listen. Bless.

-Karl Bourne Jr.




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