I have a right to speak up, to voice my opinions. And that is a right I hold dearly.
But sometimes, I wonder if we’ve collectively forgotten about the other side of this coin? If and when I speak up, I would like to be listened to. If everyone is so busy speaking, who’s doing the listening? Hence, perhaps it’s time to start to talk about the right, or maybe even the duty, to remain silent and listen as well?
Now, I don’t have to listen to everything, of course not. I’m not saying you need to either. You get to choose. It’s totally up to you! But at least once in a while, stop talking and practice the art of listening instead, and see what happens. You might learn something new, you might be strengthened in your current beliefs, your world might totally flip-flop due to what you hear. But if you don’t listen – you are missing out on many opportunities to grow, to expand your awareness, to get a new sliver of knowledge, and thereby getting another piece of the puzzle in place. The puzzle that is life, wisdom, the meaning of life. The kind of puzzle that has no edge-pieces. An eternal puzzle, where you can add piece after piece, for your entire life.
So don’t limit yourself by talking talking talking so much that you forget the art of listening. Because if you do, you place a limit on yourself. And I know, because I’ve been a lousy listener for parts of my life. So lousy in fact, that I didn’t want to hear any opposing views, because I thought that meant I was no good. If I wasn’t ”in the right” I had to be ”in the wrong” you see.
I totally missed the deeper truth, that by listening, and looking within, at my beliefs, norms and habits, questioning them once in a while, I enter the road to a better life. That’s how to grow as a person. Realizing a few years ago that other peoples opinions don’t have any bearing on whether or not I am good or bad, sure made it easier for me to start to take in what they said, made it easier to start to listen, to dare to look at what happened within me when listening.
I hope I never forget this. I hope I always continue to practice the art of listening, so that my eternal puzzle can grow and expand, in all sorts of forms and shapes and patterns, totally wild, and nothing at all lika a traditional 1000-piece puzzle of a house in the Alps. *Fairly certain the image in my minds eye of that house in the Alps is fairly similar to the image in your minds eye.*
If you go for the house in the Alps, go for it with all your might. No two puzzles are ever the same, and we should never strive for that either. I want (my!) life, my puzzle, to be something else. Unpredictable. Going for the unknown. Willing and wanting to expand and grow. While being totally at peace with the here and now. Loving myself in the here and now, but childishly curious as to what might come, what might be, what might happen in the here and now of tomorrow?