Whether it’s catching that smile targeted at me from across the room or immersing myself in a beautiful naturalistic setting, there is a lot of benefit that comes with being perceptive. The most practical way to become more observant is to train ourselves to listen deeply.
During my trip in Senegal (West Africa), my family went to a shop where drums were sold and there was this little boy who played the drums with me. It’s amazing, the paradox that often the most powerful connection we can have with another individual is nonverbal and emerges from a social or cultural language barrier. With that language barrier present, it was essential for us both to use other methods of understanding such as studying the other’s body language or emotions to communicate. This deep desire that we both had to understand the each other allowed our connection to reach such a high level.
This experience taught me that we shall not listen with the intent to reply, but with the determination to understand. With this approach, we will start to value the individuals and environment that we are constantly surrounded by. Becoming a focused listener matters a lot because it’s a simple adjustment that brought immense benefit. It’s undervalued and is a takes practice. The skill needs to be taught to children early on in their development. It’s a principle that will stay relevant for the rest of eternity.