Wisdom and the Art of Listening


  Wisdom and the Art of Listening

Listening in to other people's stories is one of the most valuable skills. It helps us gain a deeper understanding about the world and its complexities. It also shapes our own stories with greater detail and perspective. The art of listening starts when we actively seek out those who have been marginalized, silenced, or neglected to hear their voices. These are the people who help us speak for them when they can’t speak for themselves.

What could you learn from listening? And how could it impact your writing? Those are some questions we'll explore with you in this blog post!

IMPORTANT: All posts should be written in English. 

Articulate your opinions, and give a detailed account of why you're writing about this specific topic. You should be able to break down the material in a way that others can understand it.

Briefly explain what you mean by "wisdom" and why you chose to write about wisdom. "Wisdom" can be anything from personal experience, to personal knowledge, to general information you gleaned through your reading or research of the topic. Refer back to this post if necessary for reference: http://thestaircaseprincess.com/2014/03/02/out-now-wisdom-and-art-of-listening/.

The following is an example article:
Wisdom and the Art of Listening
So many of us have a need to be heard. It is this need that ghost stories, movies, and songs are made to satisfy. When we cannot express ourselves or require someone else to speak on our behalf, we seek out the art of listening. Poets write poems, musicians compose songs, filmmakers create movies, and artists paint pictures in order to be heard and understood. For writers this is an especially important skill to master as it helps us understand others' stories better. We want to know why they tell their stories the way they do so that we can use this knowledge in our own writing.

My favorite stories come to me when I am not actively seeking them out. While sitting in a train or walking down the street, I'll hear a snippet of a story or song and become captivated by it. I'll listen intently, searching for an explanation of what the story or song is about. Sometimes these are music fragments that continue to play in my head after the person has finished speaking. Other times they are very brief and disconnected bits of conversation. When I hear one I feel like it's a sign telling me that someone needs my help to be heard and understood—someone who in their life didn't have that ability or didn't bother to ask for it until now.

The purpose of this blog series isn't about how to write a literary masterpiece. Instead, my goal is to give you an opportunity to explore some of the questions I wish I could have asked in life when dealing with people who are marginalized, silenced, or uninvited into a conversation. By doing this we will all gain greater insight into the stories that could be written if the world was more willing to listen. In other words, this is about getting people's thoughts and opinions out there so that we can build off of them. If we hear what another person has to say and consider it as a wise man might, then we'll gain a better understanding of why they may have told their story the way they did.

I am not an expert on wisdom, but here are some of the reasons why I believe it's important:
When we listen to these stories, we learn about the world through another person's eyes—we see the world in a different way. Wisdom allows us to explain why people would tell a certain story in a certain way. It helps us understand their past and how that relates to them being in the present moment now. We begin seeing their pain, joy, and suffering through their eyes. We also gain insight into what they lived through so that we can use this knowledge when we're writing our own stories... While writing our books and stories, we use many of our experiences to create [our characters]. We can use these experiences to flesh out our characters and have them tell their own stories. We can also use the information from others' stories to enrich our own. For example, if we see someone telling us they hate their parents, we might be able to put ourselves in that person's shoes and develop a deeper understanding of why or how they would feel that way.

As writers we're always looking for inspiration and ideas for new stories. When we read or hear a story from someone else, it allows us to flesh out different versions of that story in our head so that we can write about different scenarios than those which were actually experienced. This is especially useful when we're writing a book.

The ability to listen is easier said than done. Sometimes people are not willing to be open with their stories or take the time out of their day to sit and listen for hours on end. It's not always easy to hear when someone is telling us about their world, especially if they’ve lived through something very difficult in their life. By listening, we can learn how they dealt with such experiences and become more sensitive to how they may have expressed themselves. At times they may need additional context in order for us to understand even something that seems like it's absolutely clear cut. For example, they might not have any verbal descriptions of what they felt. They may have used art as a way to express emotions and feelings that weren't always easy to put into words. As a writer, we try to express all of these things in our writing in some way or another.

Good listening skills are something I would love to develop even further when I grow up... When someone is speaking, I imagine them as floating above me and looking down at me. They see the world from their perspective without being influenced by any bias that is unique to them or the life they've lived. This helps me to not become judgmental and feel like I have to defend myself. By being observant, I can also see how my words may make them feel based on their facial expressions or body language.

Since the Buddha Enlightenment some 2500 years ago, the world has had thousands of recorded incidents in which a spiritually enlightened individual has demonstrated what is sometimes called "mind reading," "supernatural knowledge," or "clairvoyance." We see that there are people who can accurately describe others' thoughts or feelings without hearing it from them directly. This is why I think it's important for us to listen well when people are speaking ...

One of the most important qualities of a writer is their ability to hear another person's story. That story may be from someone who experienced something hundreds of years ago or it could potentially happen tomorrow and we'll see it on the news. We need to start by learning how to listen when people are speaking.... This is why I think it's important for us to listen well when people are speaking ... The more that we listen, the more we can discover about ourselves and what stories we should tell next.

I write this today as a self-proclaimed Superman fan. Superman has always been my favorite comic book character because I've always been fascinated by his ability to hear what others can't. In my workbooks I use Superman as an example for writing because he is someone I look up to when it comes to writing for the purpose of helping people. At times it may be difficult for me to write letters or emails with the purpose of making people feel better, but I know in the end those are stories that can help others see how they can rise above their adversity so that they aren't defeated anymore. My passion is using words and plots as a way to help people in need just like Superman does.

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