The Silent Art of Listening 

 As a 15+ year Southport resident, I have attended hundreds of events here — lectures, Brown Bag Lunches, concerts, dances, Angel Tree Dinners, Veterans Day commemorations, health & wellness presentations, Board of Governors meetings, etc. During way too many of these events, there is a frequent problem that I, and many other Southporters, find disturbing, embarrassing and downright rude – too much chatter!          Most recently, our fragile young entertainers, the Mashpee High School Jazz Band, our guests at  Pastabilities, were “talked over” during their concert.  Our MCs Bob Mendes and Sheryl Gladstone were unable to be heard given the unending conversations in the audience – even after requests were made to please be quiet and  listen. I may be getting my curmudgeon on, but where have our manners gone?

At a recent Southport music event that I chaired, I enlisted “shushers” around the room so that an a capella group could be heard and enjoyed. It worked, but  why is this necessary?  Etiquette dictates that when someone is speaking or performing that we give them our full attention and speak only when necessary (“Excuse me, I need to use the ladies room.”) Conversations about grandchildren, ailments, future plans etc. can wait until an intermission, or better yet, until another time.

The members of the Social Committee work very hard to organize versatile events for the pleasure of all Southporters. Please be courteous and respectful to others in the audience and to our entertainers by respecting their efforts with the Silent Art of Listening.       Ann Wells

I Want to Let Everyone Know how successful the strength and stretch classes are. I was standing next to a friend in class who mentioned that she had recently had her annual physical and the doctor was surprised at how good her numbers were. She attributed her success to regular attendance at class. I said nothing and went for my appointment the following week. The nurse reviewing my numbers said WOW and asked how I had gotten my numbers down, particularly my triglycerides. [The class] is not only strengthening our muscles but improving our health in many other ways. When I mentioned the classes at Southport, she interrupted, stating she was aware that we are doing great things here. The classes are a big success and the instructors are terrific. Thanks.
Jane Durna