The Listening Curve


Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” – Stephen R. Covey

There is an old saying that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks. I beg to differ. I am getting older and more set in my ways every year, and yet I learn new things all the time.  My nephew teaches me new things all the time, and even convinces me to try new things  as well. Mostly, he teaches me about math, physics, computers and robotics. Things about functions, real numbers and abstracts…and string theory, Schroedinger’s cat (I still don’t; understand why they couldn’t just put it in a clear box).

The other day as we were driving, he taught me something about classical music, a Vivaldi piece to be exact. And as we drove, he told me about how the peice was written to be a conversation. How the solo was the suggestion, the symphony the argument and then another part was the agreement. And as we drove I listened, for the first time, to music I have been listening to since i was a little girl, with a new ear. And it was almost like hearing it for the first time. All of the sudden the music was alive like it has never been before. I listened to each part, the suggestion, the argument, the response, the agreement.

And I can;t help but think, what if we listened to each other like this, with the same sense of newness? Just how much more would we hear? How many more things would we notice as if it were the first time? We would get the beauty of rediscovering our partners, our family and our friends.

So, you can teach an old dog new tricks.

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