” . . if speaking were more important than listening,
we’d have two tongues and one ear.”
(Taffy Thomas, the storyteller)
One of my jobs is interpreting, that requires a bunch of skills. Perhaps the most important of these is the ability of listening. You have to close out everything and focus on those present. Due to this job I have seen and heard things I wish I would never have but it has its good moments too.
During my latest assignment I could see it proved how important it is or it would be to listen to each other. I was in a room with three other people, all immigrants, the doctor and the patient alike, but I am convinced that the problem had nothing to do with different backgrounds and ways of thinking. All spoke from their own perspectives, not paying the slightest attention to the other. And I was there in the middle, watching them and considering what would be the best solution. I could have just walked out of the room but then I would lose the job. The other idea that came to my mind was really tempting that is showing them my real self and shout their head off to make them pause a little. Also, a bucket of water would have sorted out the issue, but again, it would mean no more job, clearly.
Violence is not a solution of course, in any form, but a big shake up would serve most of us well. Similar situations could be so easily resolved if we just learnt to listen to one another. Not a big thing, really, just sit back and give your full attention to the person who faces you. Not you are the most important person in the room. We all are equally important.
The funny thing is that this way you save so much time for yourself. Contrary to the other scenario when you waste a life sullenly because of something that exists only in your mind and that would dissolve in the moment when you step out of your own cloud and look at what’s going on outside your world. But only if you start showing interest in others this will happen.
When I was a few years younger I played a game with my friends. I was curious if they listen to me or just pretend being there with me. Not once I did stop telling a story without finishing it. They did not notice it. Similar incidents made me careful about what and to whom I say. I have two sides. Well, at least. The one who does not speak much and so people tend to think I have nothing to say. The other is the one who just can not stop talking and asking questions, because I have them, sometimes too many. This happens though only if I feel genuine interest. If not, then you will not get a word out of me. I am not a fan of speaking without saying a thing. I think, in general, we could do better if we sometimes just listened outwards.
If not me, then just believe the great storyteller, Taffy Thomas, quoted above.