We are losing our listening

I started this morning with a TED talk by sound expert Julian Treasure on listening. Fascinating stuff! His main message is that we are losing our listening as the world becomes noisier, as we get more impatient and desensitized. Treasure stresses the idea that we need to “listen consciously to live fully”. Pause for a moment and think about that. Think about how this applies to all aspects of our lives.

He offers several practices to build our listening skills. Here are a couple that struck me:

  • Be in silence (different than quiet) for three minutes a day.
  • Be cognizant of the “mix” of noises you hear and try to identify the individual channels of sound. For instance, right now, I’m sitting in my home office and I hear a dog barking in the distance, several different types of birds cooing, leaves gently trembling in the breeze, my keys typing… and now a car driving by.
  • Savor the mundane sounds – a dryer tumbling, water pouring from the spout, etc.

He emphasizes that listening should be a skill taught in school. I think listening needs to be a skill taught at home and reinforced at school. Now, how do you teach listening? Hmm, that is a little trickier. Treasure even admits to not knowing the best way to teach listening. I sure would like to know… I feel like I’m constantly barking to my 3-year old, “are you listening?”

 

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