The Many Powers of “Listening”

Chris Eldredge sent us this image of “Écoute”, the massive sandstone sculpture by Henri de Miller in Paris’ jardin des Halles, near the church of Saint-Eustache. In French, Écoute means “listen”. It got us thinking about just how powerful a practice listening is, and how varied its powers are:

Listening heals…

Nothing heals us like letting people know our scariest parts: When people listen to you cry and lament, and look at you with love, it’s like they are holding the baby of you. —Anne Lamott

It is the antidote to shame…

If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive.
― Brené BrownDaring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

It is a manifestation of love and regard…

Being heard is so close to being loved that for the average person, they are almost indistinguishable.― David Augsburger

It is a way we find out about a person…

You can listen to what people say, sure. But you will be far more effective if you listen to what people do. —Seth Godin

Listening is the way we find the path…

Long before I wrote stories, I listened for stories. Listening for them is something more acute than listening to them. I suppose it’s an early form of participation in what goes on. Listening children know stories are there. When their elders sit and begin, children are just waiting and hoping for one to come out, like a mouse from its hole. ― Eudora WeltyOne Writer’s Beginnings 

And a way we gain true knowledge…

Many people make the mistake of confusing information with knowledge. They are not the same thing. Knowledge involves the interpretation of information. Knowledge involves listening. — Henning Mankell

It is a way we know what to do, or make…

“Being creative is not so much the desire  to do something as the listening to that which wants to be done: the dictation of the materials.” —Anni Albers

Part of doing something is listening. We are listening. To the sun. To the stars. To the wind.”― Madeleine L’EngleSwiftly Tilting Planet

It is the way we learn who we are…

Put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard. —Anne Sexton

And a means of becoming whole…

That’s why people listen to music or look at paintings. To get in touch with that wholeness. —Corita Kent

 

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