Human beings will be happier - not when they cure cancer or get to Mars or eliminate racial prejudice or flush Lake Erie but when they find ways to inhabit primitive communities again. That's my utopia.
...creative listeners are those who want you to be recklessly yourself, even at your very worst, even vituperative, bad-tempered. They are laughing and just delighted with any manifestation of yourself, bad or good. For true listeners know that if you are bad-tempered it does not mean that you are always so. They don't love you just when you are nice; they love all of you.
In order to learn to listen, here are some suggestions: Try to learn tranquility, to live in the present a part of the time every day. Sometimes say to yourself: "Now. What is happening now? This friend is talking. I am quiet. There is endless time. I hear it, every word." Then suddenly you begin to hear not only what people are saying, but what they are trying to say, and you sense the whole truth about them. And you sense existence, not piecemeal, not this object and that, but as a translucent whole.
Then watch your self-assertiveness. And give it up. try not to drink too many cocktails to give up that nervous pressure that feels like energy and wit but may be neither. And remember that it is not enough just to _will_ to listen to people. One must _really_ listen. Only then does the magic begin.
Sometimes people cannot listen because they think that unless they are talking, they are socially of no account. There are those women of an old-fashioned ballroom training that insists there must be unceasing vivacity and gyrations of talk. But this is really a strain on people.
No. We should all know this: that listening, not talking, is the gifted and great role, and the imaginative role. [ read more ] via Mark Dilley