On listening rather than hearing

By Koseli. Beautiful photo from Men + West.

A recent opinion piece in The New York Times, The Science and Art of Listening, addresses why listening is so much more than hearing. We’re bombarded with a cacophony of sounds, opinions, and pulling interests and to keep our brains and hearts sharp and clear, we must learn to listen, rather than just hear.

“Listening is a skill that we’re in danger of losing in a world of digital distraction and information overload…listening tunes our brain to the patterns of our environment faster than any other sense, and paying attention to the nonvisual parts of our world feeds into everything from our intellectual sharpness to our dance skills.”

After reading this article, I sneaked into the bedroom to watch and listen to my little boy sleep, one of my treasured (albeit slightly risky) habits over the past year. When I’m really listening and observing, the moment is transportive. When a distraction snaps me back into reality, I feel grateful and refreshed from the focus.

What about you? I’d love to know if you think of yourself as a good listener. Do others commend your listening ear? When is the last time you really listened and what was it that you heard?