I’m going to throw a sort of curveball here.
No music. No movie suggestions.
I just want to offer you something to consider…
Do with it what you will…
Let me begin by saying that I am not the Zen Master of listening. I do better with some people than I do with others. I do better in some environments than others. Some days I’m a super star listener and other days, not so much. Maybe we could all say the same. I’m just becoming abit weary that perhaps humans in general are not trying to be good listeners. It feels like we’re giving that up.
Why would I say that?
Have you seen this world lately?
And what do I mean, listening? To me, I think it means that while another person is talking you are actively participating as a receptacle of their message. Meaning you are open: ears, heart and mind. You are not thinking about your feelings or thoughts or questions or arguments to what they are saying while they are speaking…you are just listening.
Perhaps during this next week, you might consider the following:
How often do you find yourself thinking of what you are going to say to someone, while they are still talking? How often do you interrupt others while they are speaking or better yet, talk over them instead of allowing them to finish their sentiment? Or reply in such a way that indicates you weren’t paying attention at all to their thoughts, just merely your own?
I think listening also means putting aside your agenda. This is a big one. Just because a person has a different gender, skin color, religion, age/generation or political party affiliation or mental impairment does not mean they are unworthy of listening. Does it? I may be wrong but I think, NO, NO it does not.
I realize it sounds like I’m suggesting we all hold hands and sing Kumbayah, but I’m not. The thing is this: All humans want to be witnessed. We all need our story to be heard, but we also all need to listen to other human’s stories. I think we really miss out in life if we fail to listen to others, don’t we?
Also worth mentioning, I believe listening is also how we learn, is it not? Remember going to classes in school, there was a lot of listening, wasn’t there? Ever consider that the structure of school itself was a lesson in listening? Yes, I know there were rowdy kids in the back rows and they never listened. But the rest of us can still try to do better!
Lastly, try listening to the world around you. I have found myself sitting outside with Faline at night, watching her listen to the outdoor world. Ears pivoting like little satellite dishes. I felt so at peace with her there in the dark starry skied hum of the city. Humans need time to shut it down. Every day. Leave behind the electronic crap. EMBRACE THE REAL WORLD AROUND YOU. Do you ever shut off everything and close your eyes and just listen. Or go outside and close your eyes and just listen? I think it’s grounding and in silence, I believe we are more present within ourselves. Dare I say, listening to the natural world and learning to be present may help you listen to others?
I appreciate you taking the time to listen to me. In case I’ve never said it before, thanks to every single one of you who has come here to read my words, tonight and all the times before.
Here is your regularly scheduled pussy cat photo: