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Listening

Commentary by Peter Shepherd
Listening
“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” ~ Stephen R. Covey
The need to be right (based on fears and insecurity) is the foundation of ego. So many pretend to listen but are really thinking, how soon can I prove I’m right or show why the other is wrong.
“A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while he knows something.” ~ Wilson Mizner
People like to be listened to, of course, and that also means they are more likely to open their heart and tell their truth.
“An open ear is the only believable sign of an open heart.” ~ David Augsburger
Why would you not have an open ear? Only if you are being judgmental, exclusive, egotistic. Not a good idea as the path of love is accepting, inclusive and connecting, with empathy and compassion. Listening is loving.
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” ~ Leo Buscaglia
Too much of our daily life tends to lack the intimacy of empathic communication, so when we do experience it, it’s very life-affirming.
“I remind myself every morning: Nothing I say this day will teach me anything. So if I’m going to learn, I must do it by listening.” ~ Larry King
Our growth in general depends on opening up - to learn from our experiences, from our emotions, from our intuition and inner guidance, from other people's viewpoints and discoveries. To listen is to be in the present - and to be meaningfully present.

Here’s some further reading on this theme...

Empathy Is Another Form of Appreciation ~ by Joyce Shafer

Imagine all of us being touched by a beam of light that is filled with conscious awareness; and that light beam of consciousness sparked within us empathy, compassion, love, acceptance, caring, imagination, inspiration, integrity, mutual respect, and innovation. Imagine that spark caused to disappear: judgment of another based on how we look or the shade of our skin or on our level of education or on how we practice our spiritual aspects and paths (or don’t) or any other perceived separation. Imagine everyone following or striving to follow the two Golden Rules. Continues...
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