Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Talk Less, Listen More
Words of wisdom that are circulated all over forwarded emails but how many people ponder its significance? I just got one awhile ago and thought it is a nice topic to discuss.
This is a talking generation. I cannot recall my father's generation talking as much. By talking I include the non-verbal kind like texting, emailing, chatting, blogging and facebooking. We express ourselves like we want to show off who we are and what we have, what we can do and what we want the world to know we are going to do. This is a very opinionated generation. Seems everybody has an opinion on anything (I am as guilty) and wants to express them in the name of freedom. If we add up all the words that fly out of our mind, mouth and fingers at any one time I'm sure they are many times greater than the entire human population (which is said to be touching 7 billion soon). We can't sit still, we have to talk and talk as if talking = living. Sure, some of us doesn't talk much, some not at all for various reasons (do men talk less as they get older?). Some talk for a living like show hosts, professional speakers and radio DJs. In between are people who talk to dominate their listeners without even thinking if whatever they say are absorbed or helpful. Some talk incessantly that you need a lightning second to wedge in your reply. And most humorously are conversations that sound like a monologue or verbal battle with nobody listening and everybody spewing out their views simultaneously. What a comedy!
The advice to talk less is to ask us to think carefully before words leave our lips. Our mind is like a kitchen processing our thoughts and clearing them to be discarded or queued to be spoken. Bad and hurtful thoughts that never make their way from our mind to our mouth harm no one but if carelessly delivered can cause untold miseries and misunderstanding. We are not just to talk less but more importantly to think twice. The two golden rules go hand in hand and will make anyone a good sharer and conversationalist.
What about listening? It is said that God created us with one mouth and two ears so that we spend twice the time listening than talking. How wise is that observation! Listening is both an art and a science. A person who develops an art of listening benefits from the choice words he hears, apply them in his own life and generally become a better person. He then shares the same to others to improve their lives too. Listening requires a conscious effort to dig beneath the meaning of the physical words spoken. Is there a cry for help? Is the speaker trying to send a hidden message subtly? Is he trying to influence the audience? A good listener thinks through whatever he hears and analyses them to form the proper conclusion.
If we agree to listen more and talk only when necessary, the world we live in will be quieter, lovelier and more harmonious. Let's chatter less but share words to build each other more. It is the civil thing to do.