Fall seven times and stand up eight
Japanese Proverb

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I want to say a quick word about the importance of being a good listener. It is simple lesson that each and every one of us can benefit from. For everyone who is already a very good listener, maybe you would benefit from learning to talk more? I talk too much, so I have to learn to listen.

A talker demands attention. A good listener is kind enough to give it, and remain patient even when they are talked over. A good listener hears the feeling as well as the words. They see the communication beyond the communication, the understanding beyond the judgement. They want to know more.

A good listener is also a good observer, so their awareness is strong. Observation is the highest road to knowledge. The talker asks, and they get a response, and they remember that response, and they can repeat that response, and so they appear to know best. But they only knows the words.

The listener has observed. The whole time the listener’s understanding has been growing, but even now it remains unspoken. They simply listen patiently. They know themselves intimately because they listen to their own thoughts and feelings. They know their friends, their family, their lover, all with great intimacy; because they listen.

There is no trick to being a good listener. When we are interested in what other people have to say, or interested to know more about someone or something, then we listen well. We must therefore learn to value other people’s outlooks, and opinions. We must want to know more.

Our relationships benefit from a dynamic that favors listening. Talking is important too, and a balanced individual knows how to express themselves through speech. They also know how to listen deeply. It is our self centered aspects, and our ego, that always wants to talk. It is our compassion that provides the balance, and wants to listen.

Listen with all of your heart. Then you will understand.

As I talk my talk I hope you understand the importance of being a good listener. I will try to do the same. This is a journey for me too.

Is the Writer a Good Listener?

To tell you the truth I would have to say no, or at least not until recently have I learned this lesson for myself. For most of my life I have known only how to talk; only how to ask questions and how to give answers, and how to tell stories, and how to give advice.

Only recently did I see how powerful it was to listen, and how interrelated the act of listening is to the act of observation, and learning, and how fundamental it is to decent communication.

Listening is good for our relationships because we are showing other people that we value what they have to offer; their perspective, personalities, and inclinations. When we listen deeply we are also in a more solid position to give people advice, to help them, and we can get to know them properly.

I hope my writing has helped you to see the value of developing this beautiful and powerful trait. Sometimes the more subtle developments are the most important. I think any individual’s life can be improved through learning how to listen, and I think the world would be a better place if we all listened… I mean really listened; to each other, and to ourselves, with our full hearts.


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