Listening is difficult for most people. We have somehow erroneously learned that the one who asserts, spouts or comments first is more likely to make a point, win an argument, or impress someone with alleged wit or wisdom.
Accurate and truthful communication requires clarity and simplicity and it requires listening. It means stopping to hear with a receptive mind and then processing what you heard. It’s an unfortunate condition that most people only hear what they want to hear because they don’t listen. How many of us, while looking like we are listening, are inwardly thinking of what we are going to say?
Competition in our culture puts a premium on self-expression. What we lack in knowledge, we sometimes make up for by talking fast, shouting or arguing.
Good listening is a virtue and a courtesy. It helps us to connect to the inner truth of a person. When that happens, serious conversations can go deeper. Arguments over meaningless accusations end and issues are more clearly defined and verbal conflict is reduced.
Maybe if we all listened more it would spread to the television talk and interview shows. What a concept — LISTENING instead of interrupting!