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Why do people shout?

It has to do with our hearts.

A story:

A guru and some of her students pass within earshot of two people vehemently arguing in loud voices.

She stops a little way past them and asks, “If those two are so physically close to each other, why are they shouting?”

Those asked think, offer some thoughts, but realize that they do not know.

The guru says, “They’re shouting and raising the volume of their speech to make up for the distance in their hearts.”

Isn’t that true?

We shout to make up for the distance in our hearts.

When two people are kind to each other – when two people love each other – they don’t even need to speak to know the thoughts of the other. They can just be silent, and they can see each other, and their hearts feel each other, and they can communicate.

But when our hearts grow distant from each other, we often raise our voices.

I know this in my own parenting and my own marriage. If I can catch myself when I’m about to get angry and think about my heart, I can keep myself from getting louder.

When I can do it right, I can get my head into my heart and then try to get to my heart towards the other person’s heart.

And then I don’t need to shout.

I don’t do this perfectly. I don’t know anyone who does. (I know people who pretend that they do, but that’s something else altogether.)

Your homework: practice finding your heart and putting it alongside the heart of those with whom you interact – especially those who seem to disagree with you.

Visit Rabbi Brian’s website here.

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