“The word listen contains the same letters as the word silent.” –Alfred Brendel
I am usually a decent listener. But yesterday I missed a statement by a co-worker that could’ve saved me two extra hours of work. Which would have translated to more time to write, workout, do errands, etc. I will never get those two hours back.
People don’t listen. They fail to keep their ears and eyes open, and this can leave them out of the game. Listening is like intelligence; everyone thinks they’re above average, even though that’s impossible.
We focus on formulating their response rather than listening to someone’s complete thoughts. Or fidgeting with smartphones instead of committing to conversation. Or passing judgement on the front end of a compound statement, not letting a person get to part where they agree with our sentiments.
I’m not pretending that I’m a perfect listener – as admitted at the start of this post, I fall into these traps, too. But I see this whole thing as the biggest bit of folly in modern society.
I get it - life is busy. It whirls by faster each day, and we never have a chance to catch up. We try to accomplish a billion things at once, and sometimes it works out. But active, effective listening isn’t something you can do on the fly. It requires a devoted, conscious effort.
The point of this rant - I am rededicating myself to shutting up and listening. I believe it will help me in my daily life, as well as enhance my writing. Will you join me on this endeavor?