The Power of Listening

The world continues to change daily and rapidly, it is evolving everyday. As human beings we are shaping our own evolution, constantly changing our present and future. Through all of these advancements and technological improvements, our lives are often facilitated and our surroundings are much noisier. It can be difficult to maintain the practice of listening, and lose these skills. If we lose the art of listening, then we also lose or diminish our communication skills, which can affect our personal and professional life. It is important to be an effective listener, and to pay attention to the world as a whole.

In today’s society, we’ve grown more impatient and more appreciative of effortless things. Amazon, the innovative company that has shifted the e-commerce industry, offers a “Prime membership” that enables you to easily receive a package within a day or two, people are willing to pay more for a faster delivery service. Even when it comes to listening it is easy to daze off or filter the information we choose to retain. Especially when we are all busy fulfilling our daily duties and responsibilities, it is often convenient to keep everything short and straightforward rather than putting in the effort to listen and empathize with the speaker. 

By the early 1900’s a video camera was invented by John Logie Baird, who knew that camera’s would turn the world upside down (BBC, 29 September 2015). Nowadays, it is very easy to record everything. It is the beauty of being able to capture and relive everything taken on a camera lens. As a student myself, I rely on screenshots or photos of any class notes to help capture the information I couldn’t carefully listen to. However, it affects our listening skills because we no longer feel the need to be attentive and listen as recording content is available during any day or time. We are focusing on what these technological advancements can do for us versus the benefits that being an effective listener can bring to our development. 

We’ve become immersed into our own world, that most of the time our headphones are the answer to escaping our reality. It’s made us lose the connections amongst others, and we’ve also lost the ability to connect through sharing our ideas, experiences and aspirations with one another. Conversation is no longer prominent, if headphones serve as a refuge. Furthermore, it is negatively impacting the ability to be physically present and embrace the sounds of life. 

Being an effective listener is a gift that offers more than hearing the bird chips or our morning alarms, it is a set of skills that can bring prosperity, strengthen relationships and help us be more comprehensive in such a hectic world. Being a good listener also allows us to listen to ourselves, it gives us the opportunity to listen to our mind, body and soul for a road to happiness. Establish wellness with yourself to be able to listen and care of others first. The act of caring is just as powerful as listening to your significant other express themselves.

How to make yourself a priority (self care):

Bera, Maggie “10 Easy Self Care Tips For Actors” https://www.actoraesthetic.com/blog/self-care. Accessed 12 November 2020.
  • Turn off your phone. Most of the time the first thing you do as soon as you wake up in the morning is check your phone. Now you’ll have to “unplug” to distress from your emails, notifications and buzzing that only make you overwhelmed. Try to set a schedule for yourself. For example, stay off your phone thirty minutes prior to bed or manage your screen time on the screen time tab in your settings for most IPhone users. If necessary, put your phone on airplane mode, focus on breathing and take a break!
  • Treat yourself to dinner. Food can be classified as an event, and we can make it memorable if we make it. During a stressful moment food can truly be our best friend, we don’t have to make dinner a “friends night” it can be a night to treat your cravings and watch Netflix, treasuring your own company. 

How to take care of others:

Uknown, “Self Care takes a Community, say mental health experts” https://www.folio.ca/self-care-takes-a-community-say-mental-health-experts/. Accessed 12 November 2020.
  • Reach out. Most of the time we aren’t aware of what our friends or next door neighbors are going through, ask the person next to you “are you okay?”. Re assure them that you’re there to listen, stay connected with your friends and family.
  • Be present. Often many may experience financial problems, however being present for someone doesn’t always necessarily mean being there financially. It could also mean helping someone study for their test, encouraging someone to achieve their goals, celebrating a birthday or even offering them a ride home are all acts of care. 

By: Yadira Tellez

Yadira is currently enrolled at the Fashion Institute of Technology, majoring in Fashion Business Management and minoring in English literature. She’s worked in retail and has had the opportunity to work behind the scenes during NYFW. Her dream is to be a Fashion Stylist, but enjoys creative writing to relieve stress and express her mind.

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