Are you listening?

I often find myself listening to the words that are too rarely spoken. Often enough, these are the words that are never said. Where do I come from and why am I here? What are the circumstances regarding my present condition and future ambitions? – these are some of the questions that I imagine others answering when I have regular conversations with those I know and those I am just beginning to understand.

But how often do we understand exactly what people are saying? Not what is being said, not even how it is being spoken, but where it is coming from. The difference between the spoken and the unspoken is as big as an entire life of experiences, associations, and conversations that we have not been a part of. We hear what others are saying because our minds are able to process the sounds and images that are being transmitted – yes, images that we are able to decipher based on one’s understanding of body language. Body language is just as important as the conversation taking place.

Does the other person appear to be uncomfortable with the topic of conversation? Does a heated argument appear to be inevitable? Possibly the topic of religion or politics wasn’t the best choice in this situation; the other participants may be unwilling to back down. Or possibly they suddenly¬†subdued themselves or became apathetic. It is easier to tell through their body language than to understand their actions that are produced as a result of the way they processed.

When meeting with a friend or someone I am just beginning to know, I am careful not to draw conclusions; I want to paint an entire picture of whom this person is and where they are coming from. I fully expect them to do the same, but let’s not get carried away.

Thanks for listening. I hope you heard me.



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