“Why aren’t you listening to me?”

“I tell you to do something but you don’t, I know you don’t listen to me when I speak”.

“Why can’t you just listen to me?”

We hear these complaints all around; in television serials, among friends, colleagues, etc. Why is listening so important to us? What is listening?

The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Let me tell you a true story about listening

A seventy year old woman once told her son about something she had seen in a car, while on the way to the hospital for her annual medical check-up. The ‘thing’ was a huge stuffed dog and by some strange stroke of luck, the car with the dog had stayed in front of her car throughout the 30 minute ride. She liked the cute toy and wished she could have a similar one at home.

Now imagine the scene, there were no young children at home who could play with a stuffed toy, no logical reason to bring such a toy home, but for her wish to own one. Her son went to the mall and got her the biggest, cutest stuffed dog he found there. She pretended to scold him for buying the toy and bringing it to her, but the joy on her face gave her away. She hugged her son and then her toy, smiling contentedly. I watched misty-eyed, this beautiful exchange of words and emotions between my mother-in-law and my dear hubby. He had heard her speak of her wishes and had actually listened to her, I was never more proud of him.

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By Sulekha Rawat

12 thoughts on “Listening

  1. Wow! That’s so wonderful. Listening is an art! Often we listen to reply to something but not to understand it!

  2. A heart-warming story. Thanks so much for sharing this. And the original post on Listening is very good too. I admit I have been guilty of being a, b, and c type at times but I strive to be the d type. At least in my better moments 🙂 Thanks Sulekha for this wonderful reminder on how important it is be a true listener.

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