“Please listen to what I have to say, because a few minutes of your time, will make my whole day.” I think that a lot of people underestimate how much power one small action, such as listening, can have on a person. When I talk about listening, I mean truly giving the person your undivided attention and understanding the content behind the conversation. There is a difference between hearing and actually listening. Hearing is noticing the sounds around you, but not necessarily paying attention to the meaning behind them, as listening does.
One illustration of active listening that comes to mind, is around four years ago when I was attaining my undergraduate degree. I was engaged in this lecture about listening, which stuck with me. The professor was talking about the grief she felt after her son went missing during a hiking trip. Although, at complete ends of the spectrum, I feel that my professor and I could relate to each other because we both suffered some type of loss that completely changed our lives.
My professor had asked me in class if I knew what helped her to cope with the loss of her son, and I replied by saying, emotional support. My professor said it was having someone to listen to her pain, not the offering of advice, food, etc. At this time, it was four years since I had lost my eyesight, and after listening to what my professor had conveyed, I went home to reflect on my own experiences.
When I began to reflect upon the time that I was losing my vision, I had a great support system who took the time to listen to me by letting me express my feelings. Honestly, I can say the same thing today about my family and friends; they set aside some time to truly take note of what I am saying. As a result, this makes me feel like I always have a shoulder to lean on when I need to.
I consider myself lucky to have several people who listen to me, because not everyone has someone who will pay attention. This is why I make it a point to take the time to pay attention to the people around me, whether they are family, friends, or acquaintances; every person and moment is precious. I pledge each and every one of you to take the time to listen to what the people in your life are saying, because that small moment may make someone’s whole day. Beautifully Blind, Inc. wants to know how the power of listening has impacted your life. Comments are welcomed!