Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Can You Hear the Whos in Whoville?

I recently underwent surgery to replace three small bones behind my eardrum which are necessary for conducting sound. I'm still recovering and my ear is not back to its normal size yet.  It feels floppy and huge.  I confess that I look a bit like Horton!  But I'm endeared to Horton, so I don't mind the temporary likeness.  And thanks to medical technology, soon my hearing will be restored to the normal range for a human my age.  It could be a bizarre side effect from the pain meds but all this attention on my ear makes me wonder about Horton's keen ability to hear sounds that others don't. Admittedly, elephants can hear at frequencies twenty times lower than humans, but this does not address the level of hearing required to identify communication from a Who in Whoville.  Does Horton have extraordinary eardrums?  Is he simply hypersensitive to the slightest noise, even for an elephant?  Do large elephant ears provide greater hearing capacity?  

These questions are irrelevant. Horton likely has the same capacity to hear as does any other elephant or kangaroo or monkey in the world of Dr. Suess.  However, Horton has an uncommon gift which allows him to hear a noise coming from a mere speck.  This rare gift doesn't involve his ears at all.  He simply uses his heart to truly listen.  Imagine what we could hear if we listened to others like Horton does!  

We could hear the cry of a person who feels lonely, insignificant, useless, or forgotten, and we'd fly to their aide.  We could hear the laughter lost in a boisterous sea of another's everyday burdens, and then we'd carry a little merriment across their heavy harbor until they have reason to laugh again.  Or perhaps we'd hear the magical melody of hope, and play it's tune for a friend in despair, or who suffers from depression.  And maybe we'd hear the wind whistle a whimsical tune to calm a frightened child, or to an adult who feels like a frightened child.  

It's important to recognize that before Horton could truly hear the Whos in Whoville, he first learned to listen to his own heart.  He ignored the nasty naysayers and pesky pessimistic peeps (who were not really his friends at all), and he did what he knew he must.  He was courageous!  Bold!  Valiant!  Compassionate!  These are the qualities necessary to listen with your heart to any Who in any Ville.  Of course a little faith helps, too.  Faith in the goodness found in people everywhere. "Because, after all, a person's a person, no matter how small."

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