The Lost Art of Listening - May 25, 2021

the speed of today’s world makes it harder and harder to truly sit and contemplate.

Posted
May 28, 2021
Graphic of gears turning and hand holding tools to tune up

The Lost Art of Listening - May 25, 2021

the speed of today’s world makes it harder and harder to truly sit and contemplate.

Posted
May 28, 2021

Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply. -Stephen R. Covey

JFS Friends,  

It seems to me that the speed of today’s world makes it harder and harder to sit and think. Between email, text and cell phones most of us are always reachable and it creates and expectation that we will respond quickly. I think that puts pressure on us to begin to formulate a response before we have had time to truly sit and contemplate.

The poet and philosopher Solomon Ibn Gabirol said:

“The first step in the acquisition of wisdom is silence, the second listening, the third memory, the fourth practice, the fifth teaching others.”

This quote is intriguing tome because it is not until the fifth step in the process that Ibn Gabirol references speaking.

Sitting still long enough to listen – truly listen – takes practice and patience. The availability of 24 hour content on TV and online has made us accustomed to every moment of our day being filled with sound and images coming at us at a rapid pace. It takes intention and practice to turn it down, turn it off and create moments of silence to sit and think.

Bernard M. Baruch spoke of the importance of listening when he said:

“Most of the successful people I’ve known are the ones who do more listening than talking.”

As we go about our work this week, I hope that you will be able to carve out time to sit in silence and think – to allow yourself moments to reflect on what you have heard, what it means and think about how you want to respond. In these moments, it is often helpful to ask yourself, “Who have I not heard from on this issue? Whose voice is missing from the conversation? How do I engage those who may have something  important to say?”

The speaker and author Cate Huston reminds us:

“Time spent understanding people is never wasted.”

Wishing you a good week,

Carl Josehart's signature

Carl E. Josehart, MSW (he/him/his)

Chief Operating Officer

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