Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I Am Sure That Is Not What You Said!

I recently attended a Planning and Zoning Hearing concerning a planned subdivision for land just to the north of the subdivision where we live. Other than the property owners and hopeful developers (the Underwoods), I was the only one to speak in favor of the development. This, being in a packed room of angry and emotional residents from the northeast part of town. Prior to public comments, a staff person from the town presented the project to P&Z. As he was talking, I heard him say (three times) that the Master Plan allowed for 1.0 to 2.5 homes per acre. All Underwoods are trying to get approved is changing the zoning from lots two acres in size to one acre in size. Sounds reasonable to me, since we are on half acres right next door.

After a parade of angry people going to the microphone, it was my turn. I brought up the Master Plan allowing lots smaller than one acre. They told me that it did not. I responded back that "we just heard it read that it allowed up to 2.5 units per acre." They repeated that it did not allow smaller than on acre. Even though it is so unlike me to argue a point, I proceeded to press the issue.

Then, the staff person said to me, it says 1.0 to .25 units per acre.

Ohhhh! That makes a difference!

Not wanting to embarrass him and point out that he read it wrong (three times), I let it drop.

After returning to my seat, I was wondering how I could have heard that wrong (three times), especially after the first time caught my attention and I was paying close attention for next two times. I realized that I heard it backwards - yes, a new condition - "dyslexic hearing".

After receiving my formal diagnosis, I began to question how many other times might I have heard something backwards. As you can imagine, that could get you into trouble and cause some embarrassing situations (unlike the P&Z hearing).

This, in turn, led me to ponder the possibility that there are others who have dyslexic hearing. This could explain a lot of crazy things going on in the world. Either we are hearing what happened, backwards and it was really logical; or, we need to show sympathy to the crazy guy because he does not realize he is responding based on dyslexic hearing. Suddenly, the world makes sense - backwards as it may be.

This could also explain our response to clear statements and expectations laid out in the Bible. We now have an excuse to go before the Judgement Seat and explain the reason we disobeyed so much and so often, it was not really our fault - we have dyslexic hearing. When God said, "Thou shall not...", we heard "Thou shall...". When we heard "Go into all the world...", we heard, "Do not go...". Or, the ten commandments came across as ten suggestions. "Follow me" translated into "Sit back and relax". "You" sounded like "They".

You see what I mean, Jackpot! Dyslexic hearing is like a get out of hell card. How could God hold me accountable for my actions when all the bad stuff can be easily explained away? If you want to get on board, better practice up on backward hearing. When your life is played back before God and everyone, better have some good examples of dyslexic hearing to use as support for your disobedience.

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