We often hear of “unconditional love”. What if we could practice “unconditional listening”, and what would that be like? What could such a listening allow in the world?
To listen is to continually give up all expectation and to give our attention completely and freshly, to what is before us, not really knowing what we will hear or what that will mean. In the practice of our days, to listen, is to lean in softly, with a willingness to be changed by what we hear. — Mark Nepo
Amazing footage showing Anne Sullivan’s ability to get in the world of Helen Keller and the miraculous potential of humans.
How to help someone feel loved and understood
“The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.” ~Ralph Nichols
Finally he, too, spoke.
“That’s not a good way to die — before you’ve told the end of your story.”
It struck me as I listened to those two men that a truer nomination for our species than Homo sapiens might be Homo narrans, the storytelling person. What differentiates us from animals is the fact that we can listen to other people’s dreams, fears, joys, sorrows, desires and defeats — and they in turn can listen to ours.
A relatively long TED Talk, but it is amazing how a deaf person can have so much to teach about listening:
In this soaring demonstration, deaf percussionist Evelyn Glennie illustrates how listening to music involves much more than simply letting sound waves hit your eardrums. The Grammy-winning percussionist and composer became almost completely deaf by the age of 12, but her hearing loss brought her a deeper understanding of and connection to the music she loves. She’s the subject of the documentary Touch the Sound, which explores this unconventional and intriguing approach to percussion.