Lost Art of Listening

listen_smDelving into any sort of perceived realities, each individual must take the time to comprehend how he interacts with the world around him. Included in that world are not only physical constructs, such as animals, other beings, and the environment, natural and constructed; but mental fabrications as well, such as the world of ideas, communications, terms, relations, analogies, and feelings.

How we are able to view these realities is what is important. Under what lens do we view our neighbors, jobs, money, war, morality, ethics, relationships, roles, community, justice, and cooperation? Have we come to realize our own views on the world through experimentation and logic? Or have our views been told to us under the coercive watch of others? Have people ever really taken a look at the credentials of the people who supposedly “teach” their children, ie, train those kids’ brains on what to think, how to deal with their peers, what is important in their lives, and their roles as servants to authority? How come the student board gets to look at the resumes of the teachers they want in their classrooms? Would it not make more sense if each parent got a chance to look at each teachers resumes, character references, and what their take is on actual education? How does one learn how to critically see? Is seeing the same as observing? How about listening? How does one learn HOW to listen? Is listening the same as hearing?

When one learns to communicate with others, the act of communication is a give and take process. I share, you share, I share, you share, each continuously building upon our sharing process of information. Can listening occur when there is no one else around to share with? I believe so. I believe it is a process of having the willingness to continue to replay over the voice that is inside us, that offers cues to all sorts of ideas, as the mind is never off, it is always listening, seeing, and all of this information is inside the mind, being processed in some way, and if we have learned to listen to others effectively, then we shall be effective at listening to our self, and depending upon our world view, we will assimilate all of our information that our mind has collected into different realities.

I have always wondered how, if given the exact same information, how two people can come to two different answers. I now know. It is because no two people alike know how to listen. Maybe both do not know how to listen, not only to others, but to themselves. Maybe one does, and he listens to the problem and is able to very quickly discern the solution or solutions, while the other person is only able to send the information down the only output road in his mind, which is to respond with a cliché or a shake of the head, yet no actual problem solving took place.

Listening involves so much more than just the ears. It involves understanding language, understanding each term that is spoken, understanding passive and active verbs, adjectives, nouns, and what the correct definition of each of those terms is. But more importantly it involves care and understanding. The smart man is always able to know that with the full potential of his mind, if he has it working at its utmost power, then he is able to discern, with the help of others viewpoints, his best observation and perception of what the totality of the landscape around him really is. From there he is able to choose his best course of action.

Active listening to me is always observing, not only the exterior world, but the one inside yourselves as well. As well as asking unlimited questions about both of those worlds as well. It may be frustrating to find that a belief you have had for your entire life is false, but just remember, it is easier to find out now, and make the necessary adjustments, than to go on your whole life living a lie you knew was a lie. Let the world in. Through your ears, through your eyes, through your touch. Experiment. Don’t be afraid to fail. Just get to know the wonderful being that is you, not the one that was built up through coercive education, laws that tell you what you can and cannot do…Just do. Be the you you always wanted to be. Learn. Listen. Be…