The human race has entered a stage where no one listens anymore.
We hear but we do not listen. We surround ourselves in a bubble of our own views, an impenetrable echo chamber of hatred and fearmongering against other bubbles. There is no time for listening, instantly dismissing someone before they have even finished their sentence, based on judgements of our mind of what that person represents.
Listening requires pausing from thinking about our own answer, it requires not thinking about how something affects us and it requires not evaluating what the person is saying while they are saying it. It requires empathy, it requires the ability to understand, it requires the ability to actually take in a viewpoint different from our own. It requires a love of all human souls and a realisation that we are all equal no matter what, we are the one-life, the human race.
An indigenous saying from North America sums up listening well – “Listen, or your tongue will make you deaf”.
When we meet someone, we tend to go through the less or more important measure. That’s often why we ask ‘what do you do?’. This is great in allowing our mind time to assess how we perceive this person in comparison to ourselves.
Then the mind decides what role we are going to play, after all, we play a role in every situation. When we are a sitting on a plane and a steward comes to serve us, we play the passenger (customer) role and they play the server role. We feel often that we are the more important in this case and the steward, he feels perhaps the less important and plays the role accordingly.
Test it, if you meet a famous person, for example, do we act or speak with the same voice versus when we pay for our groceries and talk to the checkout person?
We often assess this from physical appearances, then accents, gender, race and so on. We do not take a moment to pause and leave a space to consider, we are all the same, there are not more or less important humans. After all, within a certain time from now, everyone on the planet will just be ashes or dust, we all end the same and we all start the same.
More or less important is a mind construct and destructive to human interaction.
The challenge comes to stop the mind from comparing, once we can leave that space and not compare, then we are able to be ourselves and allow the other person, if they choose to, to be themselves too. Once we allow the role to kick-in we are acting from a perceived position of more or less important and that is of no benefit for you or the other people we interact with.