Only by listening can you truly gain a deeper understanding.
I will never forget that line. It’s from a life insurance T.V. commercial that I overheard some six years ago. I say, it was perfectly catchy and meaningful. It was so substantial to the point that I had to stop from what I was doing and turn my head to the television.
Days after, I waited for that advertisement to replay. When I watched the whole commercial, I got to love its essence all the more:
Listen to me, even if it is difficult, even if I don’t speak up, even if you disagree, even when you already know the story, whether it’s sad, or late…
I loved how they formulated the essence of their cause and business right off the bat. They got their audiences’ attention, and at the same time were able to insinuate in their minds that, as an insurance company, they do listen to people’s concerns.
We all have something to say. We do because we’re humans, we’re social beings. We have the inclination to convey our inner thoughts and ideas to others. We may have different ways of expressing them, but we all express ourselves either consciously or subconsciously. Some of us stay silent, or want to be just introspective. Some of us communicate verbally, or through actions and body language. Some people demonstrate their convictions through writing. We use our freedom of expression most of the time. However, do we also make use of our privilege to listen to others at least from time to time?
Listening is different from hearing. We may all hear the words a person is saying, but we can also choose to not listen to those words. Listening comes with understanding. How can we effectively communicate to each other when we refuse to comprehend, appreciate, recognize, and realize what the other is conveying to us?
Communication is not a monologue. It is a two-way process wherein both communicators are able to understand and respond to each other.
It is always important that we exercise and improve our listening skills during social interactions. One can only be an excellent conversationalist if he/she knows how to apprehend what his/her fellow discourser is saying. Your interpersonal skills are measured by how you clearly express your ideas while properly interpreting and responding to the person you are talking to.
Sometimes, I get to think why the world is full of chaos, misunderstandings, and wars. Yes, there may be people who are listening and communicating, but either one of them fails to understand and acknowledge the true essence of what the other is saying. Or maybe one of them does understand and acknowledge but fails to accept what is being said.
It is not only understanding that is needed in communication, but also acceptance.
And accepting is different from agreeing. One can accept but disagree. One can also choose to agree but not accept. The difference lies within the right and necessary way of showing this irony.
It is true that not all of us may agree with a given truth. It is also true that not all of us are willing to realize that the world does not adjust for us, but that we are the ones who should adjust to the happenings in the world around us.
The world does not succumb to our own shortcomings, but we should learn how to adapt to the unfairness and injustice in our lives.
We do not know everything, so it is but fitting to also listen to the people around us. Real wisdom does not only mean knowing a precious truth, but it is also about knowing how to apprehend the wisdom of others.
Listening also means respecting. A broad and wise perception is approved and accepted if the person himself knows how to respect other people’s decisions, opinions, beliefs, and convictions. And when one knows how to respect, then he is all the more being listened to.
We should learn how to listen, understand, and accept. If not, we can never taste the goodness and simplicity of life. You see, life is really simple. It is our own pride and ignorance that make it complicated and hard to grasp. If only there was love, understanding, and humility, then the world would be such a beautiful place to live in. If only there was the giving of chance for others to speak up and explain, then the world would be fair and forgiving as well. If only there was understanding and acceptance, then our lives would be simple and worthwhile.
Now, I have said what I wanted and needed to say. Have you listened? I hope anyone has understood.
© CJDP 2016
Credits to: Pru Life U.K. 2010 advertisements