So many words get lost. They leave the mouth and lose their courage, wandering aimlessly until they are swept into the gutter like dead leaves. On rainy days, you can hear their chorus rushing past: IwasabeautifulgirlPleasedon’tgoItoobelievemybodyismadeofglass-I’veneverlovedanyoneIthinkofmyselfasfunnyForgiveme….There was a time when it wasn’t uncommon to use a piece of string to guide words that otherwise might falter on the way to their destinations. Shy people carried a little bunch of string in their pockets, but people considered loudmouths had no less need for it, since those used to being overheard by everyone were often at a loss for how to make themselves heard by someone. The physical distance between two people using a string was often small; sometimes the smaller the distance, the greater the need for the string. The practice of attaching cups to the ends of string came much later. Some say it is related to the irrepressible urge to press shells to our ears, to hear the still-surviving echo of the world’s first expression. Others say it was started by a man who held the end of a string that was unraveled across the ocean by a girl who left for America.When the world grew bigger, and there wasn’t enough string to keep the things people wanted to say from disappearing into the vastness, the telephone was invented.Sometimes no length of string is long enough to say the thing that needs to be said. In such cases all the string can do, in whatever its form, is conduct a person’s silence.
Listen with curiosity. Speak with honesty. Act with integrity. The greatest problem with communication is we don’t listen to understand. We listen to reply. When we listen with curiosity, we don’t listen with the intent to reply. We listen for what’s behind the words.
Don't JustDon't just learn, experience.Don't just read, absorb.Don't just change, transform.Don't just relate, advocate.Don't just promise, prove.Don't just criticize, encourage.Don't just think, ponder.Don't just take, give.Don't just see, feel.Don’t just dream, do. Don't just hear, listen.Don't just talk, act.Don't just tell, show.Don't just exist, live.
Sometimes all a person wants is an empathetic ear, all he or she needs is to talk it out. Just offering a listening ear and an understanding heart for his or her suffering can be a big comfort.
7 Effective Ways to Make Others Feel Important 1. Use their name.2. Express sincere gratitude.3. Do more listening than talking.4. Talk more about them than about you.5. Be authentically interested.6. Be sincere in your praise.7. Show you care.
The more you talk about them, the more important they will feel. The more you listen to them, the more important you will make them feel.
Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
Prayer is based on the remote possibility that someone is actually listening; but so is a lot of conversation. If the former seems far-fetched, consider the latter: even if someone is listening to your story, and really hearing, that person will disappear from existence in the blink of a cosmic eye, so why bother to tell this perhaps illusory and possibly un-listening person something he or she is unlikely to truly understand, just before the two of you blip back out of existence? We like to talk to people who answer us, intelligently if possible, but we do talk without needing response or expecting comprehension. Sometimes, the event is the word, the act of speaking. Once we pull that apart a bit, the action of talking becomes more important than the question of whether the talking is working-because we know, going in, that the talking is not working. That said, one might as well pray.
Listen to God with a broken heart. He is not only the doctor who mends it, but also the father who wipes away the tears.
The mountains are great stone bells; they clang together like nuns. Who shushed the stars? There are a thousand million galaxies easily seen in the Palomar reflector; collisions between and among them do, of course, occur. But these collisions are very long and silent slides. Billions of stars sift amont each other untouched, too distant even to be moved, heedless as always, hushed. The sea pronounces something, over and over, in a hoarse whisper; I cannot quite make it out. But God knows I have tried.
Prayer at its highest is a two-way conversation-and for me the most important part is listening to God's replies.
What have we been doing all these centuries but trying to call God back to the mountain, or, failing that, raise a peep out of anything that isn't us? What is the difference between a cathedral and a physics lab? Are not they both saying: Hello? We spy on whales and on interstellar radio objects; we starve ourselves and pray till we're blue.
Be aware of the high notes, of the blissful faces and their soft messages, and listen for the silent message of a highly decorated gift.
Spend your leisure time in cultivating an ear attentive to discourse, for in this way you will find that you learn with ease what others have found out with difficulty.
Compassion and communication are both incredibly important in relationships, but most of us use these at the wrong time. If we communicate, it's only in times of conflict, allowing repressed emotions and unsaid worries form into their worst phrasings. If we show compassion, it's only in good times, when we're feeling good about one another and don't feel triggered or attacked. What if we changed our approach? What if we showed compassion in conflict—taking the time to listen, understand, help each other release pent-up emotions? And what if we communicated in good times—taking the time to talk about patterns we fall into, triggers we both have, and how we can work together to break our cycles? Then, we would stop helplessly dancing the same old tango of mutual misunderstanding. Then, we could work on giving one another room to feel, to love, and to grow.
Bravery is the choice to show up and listen to another person, be it a loved one or perceived foe, even when it is uncomfortable, painful, or the last thing you want to do.
Not everyone who talks less or keeps quiet whenever they are with or around you does that because they find you interesting or knowledgeable, some people do that because they find you boring or ignorant.
Long before I wrote stories, I listened for stories. Listening for them is something more acute than listening to them. I suppose it’s an early form of participation in what goes on. Listening children know stories are there. When their elders sit and begin, children are just waiting and hoping for one to come out, like a mouse from its hole.
It is more important that we listen to others than to always be speaking, for in that way we learn what there is to know. We should be easy to talk to, and grateful for new information.
We Americans pride ourselves on our freedom to speak, to say what we believe. But of what use is it to speak if only those who already agree with us listen? A first step toward the abolition of war is learning to listen with respect and sympathy.