Monday, April 22, 2013

The (Lost) Art of Listening

Do we really LISTEN any more? Do we listen to each other? Do we listen to ourselves? 
As children we are always being told to "Listen Up", "Listen Here!" or ask "Are You Listening". 

Listening is something I have been working on with Granddaughter #1. She is prone to asking questions and not waiting for an answer. I swear she loves to hear the sound of her own voice.
I keep trying to impress upon my Granddaughter just how important listening is. Being a good listener enables her to learn in school, to be aware of the environment around her, to be a good friend.

Our ancestors many, many years ago had to be good listeners. Listening allowed them to hear the sound of their next meal, should they be out hunting. Listening kept them safe from approaching enemies or dangerous animals. 
Listening warned them of approaching storms. Family history and traditions were passed along through spoken tales and stories.
But as Man has evolved and the world has become polluted with man-made noises, I feel this very important trait has begun to be 'de-programmed'  out of our psyche. 

The World has become a noisy place. Traffic, television, radio. We are bombarded by noise  on a daily basis. Is this why we don't listen anymore? Too much noise? We 'tune out' the noise and withdraw into ourselves, seeking our 'quiet and calm' spot. 

 Over the course of an average day, a person will encounter many people. And depending on your profession, you may have to have more than a casual conversation with these people you encounter. But do you only go through the motions or do you really 'converse' with these people? Do you listen to what the person has to say and give a well thought out answer?

You might be amazed at what you discover should you just choose to listen. The lovely song of a finch on a beautiful Spring day. Children's giggly laughter. Listening gives us something to laugh at, something to smile about. Listening gives us reason to slow down and enjoy some of Life's small pleasures. 

So, I have taken my Granddaughter outside and gotten her to listen to the sounds of Nature. It has helped her to pause for a moment and take in what's around her. She is slowly becoming a better listener. Learning to quiet the sound on the inside so that she might hear what's happening on the outside.
Now if only she'd listen when she's told to clean her room.....

1 comment:

Debra She Who Seeks said...

"Now if only she'd listen when she's told to clean her room....." Oh no, now you're expecting a miracle, LOL!