Really Listening

Here is an extract from a story called “The Sound Of Silence”, taken from my second book, “The Amazing Sequel”.

The class concluded that it was quite an art, this ‘really listening’.

Distraction was a big player, but there were two more players that made it difficult. The first Mr. Henderson called ‘the library in your head’.

“You see, when someone is telling you something, your natural reaction is to want to say something yourself. To give your opinion. Especially if you don’t agree with what that person is saying. What they say is immediately intercepted by what you already know on that subject. By what’s in your library of experience and knowledge. You automatically seem to be voicing your opinion literally as the other person is speaking. Therefore, you’re not really listening anymore. You’re already answering. And, if you agree with what the other person is saying, it’s easy for the library to kick in and finish the sentences off before they’ve been spoken! We all do it. Without thinking. And all it does is stop us from ‘really listening’.”

“What’s the other player, sir?” asked Carlos.

“He’s called the Judge. He has what I call an Agenda. He’s the player who decides whether he’s going to listen to someone or not before they’ve even opened their mouth.”