The art of listening

  If there’s one thing watching ‘August Rush’ teaches you, apart from the magic of music, its to stop and listen. Even as I type right now, I can hear the ticking of the clock, the low sound of the air conditioner, the sound of my typing and so on. But, these sounds are annoying after a point of time. The kind of listening I want to talk about, is very different.

In today’s day, everyone wants to be heard but no one wants to listen. Clichéd,right ? But, you’d be surprised to know how true it actually is. Listening to a wailing baby is easy, but listening to a silent mother is, well, difficult. Today’s generation(my generation) is in the habit of staying up late in the night and so, naturally, getting up late in the morning. Listening to chirping birds or the gentle breeze of the morn is a thing of the past. The only sounds we’re accustomed to listen to is Whatsapp pinging and the like. There’s a reason why we’re generally asked to study in the morning, practise Yoga in the morning or even walk dogs in the morning. Its because listening to the stillness of the rising sun is soothing just as it is empowering.

I was at a summer camp recently, in Bengaluru city, where I got to meet young people from a variety of countries. As I spoke to a few of them, I noticed how focussed, sincere and sure they sounded of themselves and what they expected of life. I found a resemblance to some kids from my own class, two years back, and remembered how motivated I was back then. And that got me thinking: was there a deficit of self-motivation or self-motivated people around me? No. The answer was staring me in my face- I had forgotten to pause and listen.

Even before a foetus develops the senses to see or speak, it develops the means to listen. Isn’t that nature’s way of telling us which sense is more important? One can argue that today’s world doesn’t work that way. And that may to be true to some extent, but the fact that listening is just as important, if not more important, can’t be denied either.

Sure, you need to know how to put your point across. So, ensure you’re heard.

But, for the love of all that’s good-

Pause, take a dee-ee-eep breath and LISTEN.

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