I believe in listening to people. I not only want to hear with my ears but to comprehend with my mind. I call this active listening. Often I will say to a person who is talking to me, “So, what you are saying is ‘this or that.'” I do not always do it because such a response is interpreted as “pycho-bable” and people get upset. So I went to a town hall meeting in my town and listened to the Congressman and the people he was engaging in “so called” conversation. Let me summarize what I heard and comprehended. First, the congress person was there to give the audience a message and he delivered it clearly. The message was that he was going to support the proposed health care legislation because he believed in it as a good bill and he thought the audience should agree. But a large part of the audience did not agree and they stood up ( I dare to say this was a very polite crowd) and told the congress person that they did not agree that this was good legislation. The speakers gave various reasons for their opinions and they asked questions which the congress person responded to politely. However, there was a dis connect because the congres person repeatedly told the audience that he was going to vote for the legislation “no matter what” anyone in the audience or anywhere (my opinion) was going to say about it. Why did he feel this way? He said that it was because he knew what was best, he knew what was real, and he understood the issues much better than anyone in the audience. My comprehension of this was that the congress person felt that he was right and that although he was required to be polite and listen to his constituants, none the less, they were wrong. Well, no body wants to be wrong and even less, to be told in many subtle and not so subtle ways that they are wrong. And no body wants to be told that they are wrong about something and that “something” is going to cost them increased taxes or reduced Social Security benefits. So the people’s responses increased in anger as a direct result of repeatedly being told they were wrong and the congress person was right and then told to (in effect) be prepared to see increased taxes, or reduced SS benefits because the congress person was right. What do I think? Well, firstly, if you are going to talk TO me please be ready to LISTEN to what I have to say. Secondly, I do resent it when someone says that they know what is best for me and for my pocketbook. Thirdly, I also resent it when people tell me that legislation like this is too complicated for my (PH.D) mind and therefore I should just agree and go along. Fourthly, I don’t like the rush. If you want to have meaningful legislation then take the proposed bills (there are several up for consideration) and break them down into parts that can be read, comprehended, reflected upon, discussed and then in revised and considered form be put forward for passage. Lastly, I do not appreciate my elected officials “ruling” me. This in sum is why I think US citizens are angry at their congress.