Yasmin Flowers
Are you listening to me?

Are you listening to me?

By Neda Boroujerdi
Queensland, Australia

I was all ears. But no. It seemed the more I listened, the less I heard. I rested my head on my hands on the table, focused my eyes and crossed my legs. But there was no use. It seemed I had gone deaf. Sound waves no longer had any impact on my hearing nerves. But no. This wasn't the problem either.

I was the problem. The problem was my attitude. My soul. My heart. They didn't want to help me listen. Why, is it possible for someone to listen without thinking, wholeheartedly?

Yes. We don't like to think. We cannot bear to listen. But we love to talk. The only serious talk is the one spoken by us, not the other person. Why? Why haven't we learned to open our heart? Why haven't we learned to listen?

No. I don't want to preach. At least, not in this case. I want to listen and to be listened to.

I don't know where the problem stems from. Does it have roots in our culture or the way we were raised? Is it our family's fault or society's? I know this much that it's not that hard to figure out the answers to these questions.

It's clear what went on in the family: If you weren't using your vocal chords to yell at your parents, you were screaming inside head to bloc whatever they were trying to say.

What about society? Your first real experience with society is in school where you were forced to listen to something that was useless and repulsive. Like a hard drink. School turned you into an object that had to tolerate sound. But you didn't hear a word your teachers said.

When I really want someone to listen to me, there isn't a listening ear. And when someone is kind enough to sit with me and listen, after a while he'd say: "No!" Which means, "Now listen to me!" And I would have to bear listening to all his not-so-correct views and judgements because he had not listened to me in the first place. It seemed like as soon as I opened my mouth he was waiting to contradict me.

I don't have a message or anything particular to say here. I'm just like you. I have also been blessed with hearing. But I'm deaf. Nevertheless, I'd like to learn how to listen. There's no easy answer for this epidemic. We must start with ourselves. Then we might be able to listen. Truly.

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