The definition of the word hear. By and large, most people hear only what they want to hear, you know, really hear what someone else is sharing, and not just being the receptacle that apprehends sound. Or, more properly, only what they need and long and desire to hear. Heck, I do it myself. I cannot even begin to estimate how often I am listening to someone (an entirely different process) and am barely paying attention to what they are saying.
Oh, sure, I can keep up with the conversation and all that jazz, but being attentive and fully involved in the conversation really does not happen all that often. What the person is sharing is their view or opinion or experience, but not mine. Sometimes I am thinking more about what I am going to say, and that means that what I am hearing is muted by my own thoughts. What the other person is saying is more like background noise. That does not mean that I care little for the person or what she/he is talking about, because I would most likely not be there in the first place, but sometimes I do not care sufficiently to be properly immersed in the dialogue.
We all do it. We all have it done to us. Life goes on and we get over it, or at least accustomed to never expecting to be fully heard. Well, that is probably not true. In that other life I would have given just about anything to be heard. I still feel the loss of that. It is echoingly empty and frighteningly scary to try to communicate and never, or rarely, be heard or understood or to know that the other person simply does not care to hear you, and that that person would be much happier if you just shut the fuck up for a change. Another story.
But, my point is that it is a common, universal experience. We all have our own needs and I guess it is impossible for any of us to find the kindness, support and selflessness to be a good listener all the time. Another point is that it does not often make any difference, mostly because the other person is probably thinking of the next things he/she wants to say while they are still talking to you and before you have a turn at speaking.
What brought all this on is that I was sharing some of my experiences at finding health insurance for other people, those who did not have access to computers or other resources, or the personal experience of trying to maneuver the insane mess that finding decent insurance or other stuff. It is what it is, and too many people are stuck with what they know and who they have in their lives to help with this kind of thing. Factor in limited financial resources and some people simply give up.
Even those with decent finances can be overwhelmed by the process. And, last week one of my coffee friends asked if I would help her find insurance that she could afford, based on the group's conversation of the previous week. I agreed and knew, with complete certainty that I would be able to find insurance coverage that met her health and medication needs that would be friendly to her budget. In fact, I was pretty sure that I could wow the BGP off of her.
So, I got basic information from her so that I could begin the search. I found a few plans that would give good, basic coverage at fees that began at zero, deductibles that also began at zero and all her medication and have her preferred doctor included in the plan.
I called and gave her the information and she told me that she forgot to mention her pension, which more than tripled her yearly income. Yikes. I said I would work the new numbers and get back to her. I was able to do so when I returned from my tests appointment at the lab, sharing that I found plans that began with less than $150.00/US in premiums per month and with very low deductibles, and did include her meds and doctor.
Alrighty then. Turns out that part of our group conversation, two of the other babes and I were talking about our supplemental/advantage insurance to supplement our Medicare (old people insurance) and that all of us had found ways to decrease our monthly premiums by at least twenty dollars. Score!!! Those sup/adv plans, for us, are costing us from $30.00/US...me...to $205.00/US...friend #3 per month. Mine covers only the basics because Medicare covers all of my diabetes needs and the extra premium covers prescription medications, basic dental preventative care and a vision exam, whilst the plan friend #1's premium covers every single one of her very specific and expensive health issues. Friend #2 falls in between us, and her insurance needs include a husband with some health concerns, too.
Plus, Medicare insurance costs $106.00/US per month right off the bat, and our sup/adv plans are added to that. So, my monthly cost is $136.00 per month and so on...
However, what my friend though she heard was that I found complete coverage insurance plans for monthly premiums between $30 and $50 per month. Period. No extra costs for meds, doctor visits, hospital visits, preventative care or co-pays of any kind.
Man, I wish that were even close to possible. It is not, though, and my friend was mightily distressed that I "misinformed her." So, she is really upset because even though her income makes it possible for her to afford just about any premium plan that exists, she also shared that she has a lot of debt and really does not want to spend that much/>$150.00 on insurance.
Truth is that she is quite angry with me. I am hoping that she will find a way beyond her feelings about this, but you just never know. I am hoping that once she has some time to think about it she might take my offer to help her again at any time. Although, first she has to think that I have already helped her.
You know, I talk a lot. It is difficult to make me be quiet. Even a village could not handle it. So, I am used to any listener not paying all that much attention to what I am saying. I am background noise, and I am fine with that. But, I think that I will pay attention to conversations for a while, not only my own, but what I hear around me. That should be pretty interesting.