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We all love talking, but do we really listen? From now on let’s listen when people talk to us and not merely hear them.
We live in an age where we can reach the other side of the world in the blink of an eye through digital communication. Yet, there are those who do not have the time, or simply lack the etiquette, for a simple reply.
Coming down to the traditional way of human conversations, one day as I sat working on my laptop, my 3 year old daughter who was playing with her doll-house said to me “Mama click a picture, I have put the bears to bed.”
I mostly keep my toddler engaged in her conversations when I am busy with a simple nod of my head, monosyllables or a smile. That day was no different and because she was so insistent about me clicking a picture of her bears sleeping in the doll house bed. I told her carelessly, “There’s nothing to click. The bears are not looking good anyway being placed on top of each other.” To which she replied, “No, mama see, baby bear is sleeping on mama’s tummy just like I sleep with you.”
Frankly, that sentence made me realise how insensitive we are to our loved ones, just because we take them for granted.
Another incident that happened long back, came to my mind. One day, some ten years ago, my mother was sitting with me while I was mindlessly browsing the internet. She brought a cup of tea so that she could make conversation with me, while sipping her tea.
What was she looking for? Someone to have her tea with. Some time to spend expressing herself with her daughter. I as always just heard her, not listening, until I actually looked up from my system to see her face.
Yes, I was staring at the system while she was pouring her heart out to me. What was heartbreaking was it was okay for her as long as I heard her.
When I looked at her face, I saw sincerity, emotions and the eagerness with which she was speaking to me. With every sentence she was searching my face for a response. Something as simple as “What to cook tonight?” held such weight because she wanted to give the best to me. Because my happiness mattered to her.
Looking at her face, I was taken aback for a moment. I was thinking that I was doing my job as a daughter quite well by just hearing her out, but what I lacked was the involvement in the discussion which she deserved.
She had chosen me at that moment to pour her heart out. She decided to share a moment with me. It was a privilege. That evening, feeling guilty at my behaviour, I took her out to the nearest Mcdonald’s joint. She was delighted! We sat sipping our lattes and eating our burgers while talking. This is a ritual that continues till date.
Coming back to the present, I looked at those expectant, hopeful eyes of my baby and said, “Yes, this will make a very beautiful picture”, and clicked a picture.
“Wow”, she said as I showed her the picture. The truth is, that picture is forever etched in my heart.
We talk, we express, we all love to be heard, but are we listening? Are we listening, when people share a part of their soul with us because they think we would understand. Do we realise that people connect only because they think we are important to them? Do we realise that it is a privilege that they might have chosen to bestow on someone else but still they chose us?
We cannot change the world, but by really listening to people we can save a lot of hearts from breaking, and happy individuals can really make the world a more compassionate place.
Picture credits: A and N Photography, via Canva Pro
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A Social Media Content Writer by profession. A writer by heart. A genuine foodie. Simple
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