I decided to return to this not-listening boy today because he is so decisive and committed to his position, and right now, this level of commitment appeals to me. Also, in an email, my friend Jody hypothesized that children refuse to listen when they fear that adults are going to impinge on or threaten some aspect of their identity. She pondered the possibility that it is the same for adults, and that makes sense to me. So thank you for that insight, Jody. Why not do what we can to shut out an assault of any kind? I don't need to tell you that there's plenty to shut out these days, no matter what your identity is.I do have a confession to make about this little boy. I found his image on a website about ear infections. He was being used to illustrate what a child with ear pain might look like. But, with Jody's comment in mind, the image still fits with the not-listening theme on a metaphorical level--that is, one can think of messages we do not want to hear as potentially infectious assaults we must keep from invading the inner sanctum.