Free Press Journal

The Art of listening


It is through this creative process that we at once love and are loved

I want to write about the great and powerful thing that listening is. All of us seem to have forgotten how to listen. How many of us actually listen to our children? Do we listen to those we love?

Listening is  magnetic. It is a strange thing, a creative force. Just think. The friends who really listen to us are the ones we move towards. We want to have them as friends. We want to sit within their radius as though by remaining thus, it will do us good, like ultraviolet rays.

The reason why we do this is simple. When someone listens carefully to us, we unfold and we expand. Ideas actually begin to grow within us and come to life. You know how if a person laughs at your jokes you become funnier and funnier, and if he does not, every tiny little joke in you weakens up and dies. Well, that is the principle of it. It makes people happy and free when they are listened to. And if you are a listener, it is the secret of having a good time in society (because everybody around you becomes lively and interesting). It is the secret of comforting people and of doing them good.

Who are the people to whom you go for advice? Not to the hard, practical ones who can tell you exactly what to do, but to those who listen to you. They are the kindest, least censorious, least bossy people you know. It is because by pouring out your problem to them, you then know what to do about it yourself.

When we listen to people there is an alternating current that recharges us so we never get tired of each other. We are constantly being re-created.

Now, there are brilliant people who cannot listen much. They have no ingoing wires on their apparatus. They are entertaining, but exhausting, too.

I think it is because these lecturers, these brilliant performers, by not giving us a chance to talk, do not let this little creative fountain inside us begin to spring and cast up new thoughts and unexpected laughter and wisdom. That is why, when someone has listened to you, you go home rested and lighthearted.