Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Perhaps the most critical element in communications is the art of listening.

Certainly it's important to speak when attempting to convey a thought or idea, but it's vitally important that the ear be trained (and re-trained) to hear, to absorb both the words spoken/written, and their deeper meanings. That can only be done by listening.

Sounds trite, doesn't it?

We can listen and not hear. We can hear and not listen.

Sound is merely noise until something in the way of sense, or comprehension is affixed to it. Sometimes that happens rather quickly, though most of the time it takes longer - as if savoring a word or a collection of thought brings out their true luster (or bluster).

I've been listening for several days now. I'm not sure what I'm listening for, but I know I'll recognize it when I hear it.

It is the province of knowledge to speak,
and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen.
~ Oliver Wendall Holmes


Rebecca said...

That line "you can hear and not listen...listen and not hear" is one to ponder.

There are SO few listeners in our word today and SO many who need a listening AND "hearing" ear...

RCUBEs said...

"We can listen and not hear. We can hear and not listen." - So TRUE!!!

I hope I don't have selective hearing like this :( God bless sister and may you hear and process a more wonderful sound that is in your path!

Terri Tiffany said...

I am so guilty of not listening as closely as I should--can't tell you the verse but my pastor used to always say be slow to speak, quick to hear ... you get the jist:)

Grace on the Narrow Path said...

Wonderful words of wisdom. I hear thee my friend.

Debbie said...

People tend to speak more than they listen. I'm learing to listen more and speak less but it's a habit that needs to be learned. There have been times in the past when I was thinking about what I would say and totally missed out on what the person was saying. How sad is that?

As I'm getting older, I'm learning these lessons. I remember reading a book years ago. A lady was seated with two dignitaries at a social function. One proceeded to tell her all about himself. The other asked her all about herself. When someone asked what it was like to sit with these two and which one she liked more, she responded with the one who asked about her. Interesting, isn't it?

You are a good listener Kathleen!

I know that from personal experience.

Love you,

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Kathleen -

Love the quote!

Your post makes me think of what Jesus said about people having ears but they do not hear.

Susan :)

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

My hubby and I have just finished having a discussion about listening.

I am a talker who needs to learn to shut up and listen and he listens but needs to learn to hear the message.

We pray that God will open, not only our ears, but our hearts for each other's message and His.

Diana said...

Kathleen, these are great words to hear this morning.

~*~KIMBERLY~*~ said...

In agreement! Great post!

Beth E. said...

We can listen and not hear. We can hear and not listen.

A very popular line in your post, Sassy....unfortunately, I've been guilty of both from time to time.

Praying for ears to hear and a heart to receive that for which I'm listening.


Denise said...

Very well said.