Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Right to Listen... voices present and past

I declare the Right to Listen.

As we can speak, we can listen.
No speech exists without a listener.
But listening goes beyond speech---listening is paying attention.



Sometimes, in this blog, I refer to voices from history. Sometimes it helps to listen to these voices of the past. As a historian, I know the past can become a tool to the future. Examining the past can become an action that propels us forward. So often, I refer to events or writings of past centuries. There are many thinkers who precede me. They are my forefathers and foremothers, an ancestry of knowledge and experience. Let us listen. Hear their voices echo through the centuries.

Listening is not the same as hearing.
We do not need ears to listen.
We can listen by observing, feeling, paying attention,
or even by reading, in the case of voices from the past.


Revision thanks to commenter:  BRM.


28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Through listening, we learn, and through learning, we develop. Listening is without a doubt, a necessity.
AG

RCW said...

I believe, what is most important is how we listen. Having the right to listen doesn't generally mean that we are truly being active listeners. Is having the right to listen without making a effort to hear what the other person is saying or clearly understanding them, "allowing the speech to exist?"

Anonymous said...

My mother always told me “You better listen to me, I know what I’m talking about. When you have your children you are going to sound just like me.” I would mumble to myself with arrogance, “I will never sound like you!”

She may not be a voice in history like Sojourner Truth, Eleanor Roosevelt, Shirley Chisholm or even Hillary Clinton, but she is knowledge and experience. I must have been listening, even with all the eye rolling I did. Her past and my past have become the tool to my future. For those of you young in age, there is nothing that those before you haven’t done or tried. Listen and learn from the mistakes and the choices of others so that your futures become the past that others look to for courage and resilience. T.L.

Fidela said...

The Right to Listen...Listening is an art that needs to be learned and rehearsed in order to process and relay the information effectively to others. It is essential to learn the techniques of how to listen to others with interest and avoid misunderstandings. It is important to minimize the interruptions while listening! Through listening, we learn from the past apply it in the present, and store the information for the future. Fidela

Anonymous said...

We need to listen and learn. We also need to speak our minds and voice our opinions. If we listen, we learn. If we speak, we can change the world.
J.R.

Anonymous said...

When I read "I declare the right to listen". I was reminded of a voice from the past, You see I too refer to the past as a tool for guidance. That voice is Jesus, in the book of Mark Chapter 4 verse 9 were Jesus said "Anyone with ears to hear should LISTEN and UNDERSTAND" (New Living Translation). You wrote "No speech exists without a listener". Imagine now a speech with a listener that has no UNDERSTANDING, what good would the right to listen be??

ASR

Anonymous said...

I agree with the right to listen... voices present and past. I believe in the wisdom of age which is caused by a persons experience in life. This country holds some of the most historical voices, like survivors or family of the survivor of the Holocaust. Living veterans from purl harbor. Past Presidents, even someone can all find history in a grandparent. All these voices help build the rode for a younger generations future.
M.D.L.

Anonymous said...

Being able to listen is a gift . A gift that helps store and process information in our minds. In our mind we make illusions, coming from listening to other people and society . In history there were many great people that achieved their goals. If we can listen to the voices of our ancestors, we can be a wiser future. Do not repeat histories mistake, but take into consideration what they have encountered and said as motivation.
A.Q

Anonymous said...

The Right to listen is the way to a connection in such an immense universe. Listening allows you to travel in someone elses thoughts and be able to disagree with them personally. Words from the past is a lesson and a gift that gives us a better choice. LINA.A

Anonymous said...

What about the deaf? Do they not have this right? Just because you can't hear, does not mean you're not listening. The art of listening is paying attention.
BRM

Anonymous said...

When we speak we teach, however, when we listen we learn. To gain wisdom, knowledge, understanding and insight we need to cultivate the art of listening. In some parts of the word they are prohibited from listening to certain music and authors. Violating this human right would silence all the voices in the world,and effect progress in human development. -YEM

Anonymous said...

We learn through listening, reading and observing everything from music to someone’s accent. While in United States we take for granted being able to listen to what and who we want, other countries don’t have that liberty and are being forced by their government to listen and learn what they make them believe in.
CP

Anonymous said...

Listening a must. I know that we all listen how do we grow without listening. How do people gain their skills in life? The doctor, the engineer, the to be mom, and the child in school learning addition; all these groups learned thru listening to another more experienced individual. Just with that being said is more than enough to say listening is a skill that is essential in life. As for the speaker there is always someone that would like to hear a good story or learn a new skill.
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Anonymous said...

I propose it is time to listen to ourselves, to our hearts, our feelings, to our surroundings or in a larger scale to our world. Every day we pollute it, we damage it, we as human beings sometimes avoid to listen to that voice within us, screaming that a change is necessary to live in harmony, let us listen to our conscience and protect the most valuable asset in the world, life itself.
AYS

Mr.Drama said...

Listening is crucial to discovering new ideas. As an actor you have to listen to the words being said when reading your script, as well as the voice of the other characters. There is an objective for each character and through the subtext of the script,(which can only be understood by listening to its voice)you discover the characters objective and their intentions for acquiring the objective. This is one of many ways in which we can listen. Listening is not necessarily hearing, like you said. It is also feeling and understanding.

Anonymous said...

I agree that having the ability to hear does not mean that you can listen. Listening is deeper and involves feelings and concentration. Listening is also a choice and whether you learn from others or heed warnings is up to you. But, do not be a sore listener if you hear "I told ya".
G.C.

Anonymous said...

Listening is limited to the action performed by your ears, in conjunction to the interpretation of your brain. The past, in my opinion, cannot be listened to, rather I believe that the past must be learned from. Humans must make a conscious effort to acquire useful knowledge from the past in order to correct, redirect and focus our attention on our present so that our future may be profitable.
ALB

Anonymous said...

Listening is how we learn. Through listening we learn new things and become smart people. Listening helps us learn about a person, about a subject, provides us with the opportunity to speak about it intelligently.
ABL

Anonymous said...

I agree with the right to listen. I get extremely aggravated when I am talking to someone and I know they can hear me but avoid listening to what I am saying. There is a quote that my mom always used “There isn’t a worst blind than those who refuse to see” Listening not only allows us to learn but also to discover new things.
*NG*

bruna said...

Active listening enriches our experience. If we listen carefully to the messages related to us by such groups as the elderly, the youth, or educated people. In fact, we can learn from anyone regardless of appearances and take ourselves out of our narrow scopes.

Anonymous said...

We hear thousands of sounds a day. When someone listens, they actually pay attention;take in and understand the information being given to us. Without listening to anything or anyone, how do things get done?
-F.B.

Anonymous said...

hearing the voices of the past is as important as the present voices. history and its most important figures have much to say. when we read and educate ourselves in the subject is when we can hear those voices, so alive as if the where speaking to us today.
s.a.

Anonymous said...

I Don't Like Listening To Certain People .. Is there A Right For not Listening to Certain People ? -SKT

Anonymous said...

To listen is to understand what is being said. It is certain that most people hear rather than listen to a speaker. To listen and to hear are very important verbs because it can be the start of a huge conflict.-S.S

Anonymous said...

"..the past can become a tool to the future. " I could not agree with this line more. As a history buff, I believe that we cannot prepare for the future unless we understand the past. History repeats itself isn't just a saying. It's the truth! By analyzing the tendencies of different peoples and nations we can see what might occur again. This also applies to individual people as well with respect to their habits and ways. Listening to the past is crucial throughout life. MBS.

Anonymous said...

-To listen is to comprehend. Some of us learn better by listening-j.d.

Anonymous said...

Many people think when they hear what's going on, they understand. To understand though, we must listen and take in what is being said. SC

Anonymous said...

Listening and listening carefully are two different things.