Most of us tend to listen on what we want to listen, not what the other person is trying to communicate with us. We don’t realize how great and beautiful thing that listening is. We forget it. We do not listen to our family, our friends; to those who you love or love you and least of all, which is so important, to those we do not love.
Are we losing the art of listening? No, we are not. We have not yet lost the art of listening. We just need one moment, one deep breath; one little reflection to get us reminded how great and beautiful it is to completely keeping up with it.
I usually do people-watching thing whenever I’m alone outside. I saw many good men go down into a slow decline of hopelessness. They are broken as their vision of a decent life was broken. I saw them walking aimlessly upon the streets, their eyes empty like shards of broken glass. I didn’t give voice to this kind of awareness, but the knowledge of common misery touched me and changed me in ways that were hidden deep from the public view. I listened to their broken sounds in silence. As it always, silence always penetrates me.
Remember, it is not enough to just listen to them. One must really listen, with a deep, steady gaze, and sparkling eyes. I always keep reminding myself to listen with affection to anyone who talks to me, to be in their shoes when they talk, to try to know and understand them without any kind intention to judge, pressing against theirs, or arguing, even changing the subject. Only when we do this the magic begins.
These people, they actually need nothing from the external world but love. And listening is love. That is what it really is. Unless you listen, you can’t know anybody. You might read facts and what is it in books, newspapers, articles on the internet, all of history, and anything you like, but one thing for sure, you will not know a single person. You will never understand what love is. You only can to understand what love is by the very first step of living which is giving. By the time you listen, you give them your time, your attention, your space, and perhaps, your life. And by loving others, you give the same amount of love to yourself too at the same time.
The loneliest people on earth are the ones who unable to listen. And the most serious problem of not listening is the worst thing that happens in human life, boredom; for it’s really the death of love. It isolates people off from each other more than any other thing.
Try to listen and feel the different beneath the surface of your skin. When you start to listen, you begin to hear not only their words; you may also feel the texture of the words, each word with joy and sorrow, and the breath behind the words; the emotional feelings and the story that are waiting to unfold.
Be fully present, be sensitive to what is being said because sometimes those you’re with don’t need you to say a word and the only response might be to just listen with affection, and yes, don’t forget to hold your tongue. Be fully alert and stay calm.
You might have no solitude, run to many errands, talk to many people, drink too many alcohols, but this little fountain is muddied over and covered with a lot of debris.
Try to listen to yourself too. The most sacred spaces I have are spent in moments of meditation, as I examine my soul with all of its imperfections.