Typically, hearing is contrasted to listening, and such comparisons almost always favor listening. This dichotomy substitutes for the more complex understanding that there is no single type of listening, but rather, to employ a technique derived from general semantics, we can say that there are multiple varieties of listenings.
This is a time of cataclysmic climate change, with raging fires across the western US landscape, the threat of life-threatening floods to coastal regions worldwide, and numerous other effects. A basic premise of this paper is that in searching for remedy, we must listen to the Earth, and through listening, discover what it is that ails the planet, and seek restorative action.
This article discusses the art and science of listening. The focus is on listening, with an emphasis on
the personal narrative which can take us into others’ lives, into their feeling memories, as they describe what they saw, heard, tasted, and smelled in another place, another time. The voices are those of storytellers who are
older African American women who had worked in the homes of white families in Mississippi and Alabama and who shared their pasts in taped interviews with a passion, anger interspersed with humor.
Listening to our inner selves is one of the keys to a happy and healthy life. So many people go through their lives with voices in their head saying ‘I’m not good enough’, ‘there is something wrong with me’ or ‘I am unlovable’, for example. But how can we transform this unhelpful and life-defeating thinking and as a result, lead a happier and potentially healthier life?
Listening in the healthcare encounter is a complex matter–even if it appears easy at first glance. In fact, listening is an underused potential. Listening is about understanding what the patient is saying to draw out the fundamental ideas, while gathering information to find answers and weigh options.