By Enoch James, Matrix Contributor
Stop, and listen. Stop when, and where? And listen to what?
It doesn’t mean that whenever you’re approached by a person you stop whatever you’re doing, and give them your undivided attention.
Nor does it mean that you listen to everyone and agree with them without having a say in the matter.
The significance of the topic is more figurative in the framework of social justice issues.
Equally weighing the wants and needs of people with one’s own wants and needs would be one way of stopping and listening. By doing that, you set your egocentric wishes aside, and regard every life just as important as yours.
From a social justice perspective, if politicians and leaders adopted a similar philosophy and considered the value of each individual worldwide to be equal, the battle plans would be replaced by sheets of harmonious symphonies.
In a societal context, the implication of the theme, “STOP & LISTEN,” is more literal.
Everyone is guilty of gossip. Once started, rumors spread at an exponential rate. Gossip can be looked at as a coping mechanism to deal with boredom.
It is therefore quite obvious that people who engage in chitchat about the lives of other people have no life of their own, and this is emphasized by Eleanor Roosevelt’s words, “Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.”
Often we hear about people of note, orators being praised for delivering eloquent speeches, but hardly ever do we hear about someone commended for being a “good listener.” Listening can be thought of as an art, a skill that only a few learn to master.
Sometimes, people just want to be heard, whether they’re right or wrong in their opinions.
In the words of Mercedes Lackey, “It’s only gossip if you repeat it. Until then, it’s gathering information.”
So, the next time you engage in a conversation, ask yourself this question, “Am I gaining knowledge by listening to my own words or by listening to what the other person has to say?” ◼︎