“The quieter you become, the more you can hear.” (Baba Ram Dass)
What does this quote mean to you?
For the most part, I tend to be a rather quiet person. Some find this to be unusual for someone who’s spent his life as a teacher. But more times than not, I tend to be quiet. I have found you can learn a lot more from listening to others than you can from feeling the need to always be talking.
I have found that if I’m quiet, whether in the presence of others or not, I tend to be more introspective. When I was growing up, I would take a tape recorder with me when I went riding my bike and record all the surrounding sounds. When I returned home, I would play the tape back and be amazed at all the sounds in my presence of which I was not aware.
For most of my life, I have had tinnitus, a constant ringing in my ears. While it’s something that you eventually get used to, it does keep you from having a full range of hearing. This is another reason I try to listen more closely to those sounds around me, whether it’s a person conversing or the multitude of sounds that nature has to offer.
Perhaps the most challenging listening I’ve had to learn to do is when in conversation with others. My Attention Deficit Disorder creates situations where my mind wanders when talking with people. So I have to make a concerted effort to focus on the content of what’s being shared so as not to appear rude. This can be especially difficult when the person I’m talking to is rather long-winded or is talking about things of which I have little or no interest.
For today, let me be a good listener. Let me be reminded there’s a good reason why I have two ears and only one mouth. Let me fully experience life and all the myriad of sounds it has to offer.