Tell me if this sounds familiar. Someone is talking to you, trying to express what they feel, think about something, maybe what’s going on. As they do so all you hear is bla bla bla and are focused on your response not what is being said. I am betting it does sound familiar because we are all guilty of this whether once in a while or frequently. We are often so busy trying to be right, needing to be right that when our friends, spouse, family speak to us, communicate with us and vice versa no one is really paying attention to what is said, reading between the lines, trying to understand. Often what happens is anger builds up, resentment, this sense of talking to wall that just doesn’t get it. Sometimes what is being said is outrageous, unholy etc… and we want to redirect that conversation etc.., but the only way to do so is to truly listen. This is the problem in our society at large, no one seeks to really listen, all we get is anger, rage, acting out and craziness, that includes our most intimate, important relationships. I am not immune to this, to focusing on what I am going to say, and so I miss what is really being said. This is something we can all work on. Maybe going outside and meditating to learn to filter out the noise, focus on on sound, learning to tune in is an exercise we can engage in. We need to train ourselves and also those in academia both professors and students to do real listening and understanding so they can be an example to society. The same within our own groups. I hope we can learn to listen to understand, but be preparing the ‘perfect” response as others are expressing themselves. This understanding does not mean letting anyone belittle us etc…, just means we try to understand where the other is coming from, maybe if we can, we can turn it around to the greater good of all, especially in relationships, find a win-win compromise for the good of all.