Tuesday, November 08, 2016

You Could Listen

You Could Listen

So many of us are great talkers. Some of us are not especially good listeners. Some of us listen only so that we can talk some more.

The sad truth is that, by not being good listeners, we are robbing ourselves of the information that is often required to make important decisions in our lives. In this day and age, we are bombarded by a dump truck of information, some of it useful, some of it just fodder for the compost pile. All of this information, even when we're not listening, finds its way into our brains. It's when we listen that we filter out what is useful to us from what we know is just sludge.

We like to talk. We like to share information, opinions, and gossip. We like to discuss politics, who's in and who's out, and all the latest trends. Sometimes we learn something we didn't know, and sometimes we even make important decisions based on the opinions of others. Even on Internet sites, like Facebook, we like to chat. Talking with others is our connection to the world.

Listening is another thing completely. We're not so fond of having to listen. If you remember back to those long, drawn-out college lectures, you probably recall being alert for about ten minutes, and then your brain would just kind of shut off, and your thoughts would drift elsewhere. Even "talkus-interruptus" — when you are constantly talking over one another in a conversation — is a sign of how we'd rather talk than listen.

It's an egocentric world. For some reason, we believe that we embody all the information we need to be a complete person, as if all the secrets of life were stamped on our DNA, and we were somehow born with it. Nothing could be further from the truth.

So take a moment to listen when you are in a dialogue with someone else. You may learn nothing at all from that person's take on the world, but you never know, you might learn something important about life or even more importantly, about yourself.




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