There's an old saying that God gave us two ears and one mouth so we may hear more and talk less. Indeed, how well we use our ears can play an important part in determining what we learn as we go through life. It is true that the good listener adds immeasurably to the art of true conversation - and to the enjoyment of those around them.
Listening, some say, is a 'learned' skill. And when we develop it to the fullest, we increase not only our capacity to learn but also our ability to maintain healthy relationships. A true conversation is an opportunity to learn something 'about' one another 'from' one another.
There is two kinds of listening - active and passive. Most of us are good at passive listening. We appear to be listening when, in fact, our minds may have wandered off to the movie we saw last night or what we are going to wear tomorrow. Our attention can drift from a speaker during a lecture, or a sermon, or while watching television, and even when we're with close friends and family members.
Active listening can be difficult because it requires staying focused on what the speaker is saying. It depends on using our ears the way a photographer uses a camera. to get the best pictures, the photographer must adjust the lens until the settings are correct. As active listeners, we must adjust the focus of our attention to remain aware of what the speaker is telling us. the more we listen and learn, the better able we are to develop our potential.
The value of listening has been emphasized through the ages. The Egyptian scribe, Amen-em-Opet (1200 B.C.E), for example, said, "Give your ears, hear what is said." And Ben Sira, a Hebrew scholar of the second century B.C.E., commented, "If you love to hear, you will receive, and if you listen, you will be wise."
It takes practice and concentration, but we can become better listeners, and better listeners are better learners. God gave us not only two ears and one mouth, but also the potential to learn. The more we listen and learn, the better we may be able to realize the God-given potential that each of us possesses.
Jason E. Royle
Welcome to my blog. I'm an open-minded theologian committed to Christ-like compassion & understanding.
Listed on Feedspot