The Power of Listening
Communication, conversation, language are predominately thought of, anchored in our minds, as an expressing, a speaking, a vocalizing. That outward expression goes far beyond talking, far beyond describing or representing reality—it is in fact what allows for “who” and “how” we are in the world. It’s what allows for the futures we create, where we evoke experience in others, where our ideas become clear and possible, where we share ourselves, and where others are expanded by our participation with them. But speaking is not where things get handled—it’s not powerful enough. The possibility that there’s an edge, the possibility of impact, lies in our listening.
Listening, we often think of as more passive—important, but somehow lesser or secondary. But listening is the clearing in which speaking can occur—without it, there isn’t any speaking. Listening is an action.It’s way more active than it is passive—it creates speaking. Listening doesn’t receive speaking, it isn’t a receptacle for speaking—it gives speaking. Listening is the possibility for meaning, for understanding. The possibility for being loved lives in one’s listening; the possibility for learning lives in one’s listening. Listening is what allows others to be—it’s where both the speaker and what is spoken come alive, exist, and flourish.
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