Listening is an important ingredient of oral interpersonal communication. It is the stage where we receive vocal signals from a speaker and process it inside our heads to give a proper feedback. The feedback then transforms the listener into the speaker, thus continuing the process. Throughout the world, this communication model, together with others , summarizes the entire process that had shaped the entire history of mankind, from grunts of prehistoric man, to a universal language communication. Communication is such a beautiful and intellectual thing, for it makes connection between people of any nationality, from any part of the globe and beyond. It really “Wows” people about what we get from just listening.
However , in our modern fast-paced world , do we still truly listen to understand what the speaker is saying , or do we only listen as a front and just reply to keep the process going for a long time? Does the adult , young adult , and teenage generation today still listens to know deeper and broader , or do they only act to show the other person what they wanted to see?
In the past , development boomed after the dark ages because people yearned to connect or reconnect to other people, people from places that had been discovered from the age of exploration. However , as the saying goes “change is the only thing permanent in this world.” So the kind of “Listen to understand” communication that people in the past did to deepen and broaden their knowledge about the things around them has already changed into a “listen to reply” kind of communication. That kind of communication still connects people , but the connection it gives , is too shallow and narrow and don’t have enough strength to hold the parties involved for a very long time, unlike the deeper and broader connection that the “listen to understand” gives. If everybody’s interaction has the “listen to understand” as their foundation , the parties involved will have lasting interaction that may and will go the distance and withstand every storm that may come . The reason for that is because the foundation is strong.
That being said, the challenge for us today both the green and the gray, is to learn to connect and reconnect to other people using “listen to understand”. So , how do we do it? Well for starters , we need to look inside ourselves and evaluate it. We need to evaluate our own preference and its pros and cons. After that we need to look outward and see what is going on in our own community. So we will know the trend in listening in our own turf, and how people around us accept those trends. Though , the common trend will probably “listen to reply”. Lastly, we need to look forward , to see what lies beyond if we somehow make people around us including us do “listen to understand” rather than “listen to reply”.
Surely a whole lot of people spent a great amount of effort and resources to change the course of trends in oral interpersonal communication in the past. However, sometimes it is the most minute factor that has the greatest effect in changing the tides. So to all those who is reading this right now , my challenge for you is to look inside , then outward and forward. So even from a little community , change may occur . From a shallow and narrow “listen to reply” to a deeper and broader “listen to understand”. And I know it may be too cheesy but “my voice may not matter , but this is just a perspective of one of the seven billion people , living in one of the hundreds of countries that floats above the seven seas , in this perfectly imperfect , yet so beautiful world.”