Most of us were fortunate enough to be blessed with the ability to hear, but how much do we really listen? You’d be surprised how often we’re given solutions to our problems, but we’re so busy talking, we can’t stop to hear them. How often do we find ourselves thinking more about what we’re going to say next than hearing what another person is telling us?
More often than not, words go in one ear and out the other.
The importance of listening to others is something that people on a high spiritual level have always understood. Regardless of whether people are right or wrong, we have a responsibility to listen to them. If we don’t fulfill this responsibility, how can we expect others to listen to us?
There was a great sage who, at the end of his days, was so sick and weak that he could only whisper. Yet he continued to instruct his students who sat very close to hear him. A local teacher went to observe this. He saw the great man whispering, sometimes for hours on end, with the students leaning close to listen.
“I don’t understand,” the teacher said to one of the students. “In my temple, if I speak for more than 30 minutes, they want to drag me away from the pulpit. You not only listen to your teacher for many hours, but you listen despite the fact that he can barely speak!”
“We listen so closely and so long,” the student answered him, “because we know that if one of us had to speak with our teacher and we had to whisper, he would bend over to hear what we had to say for as long as necessary.”
If we want to reach a level where we are heard, then let’s focus on listening carefully to others.
This week, seek out ways to become a better listener. Learn to hear and not just to speak.
When we open our ears, we open our hearts to become truly engaged with others.