Waiting For Our Turn To Speak
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Waiting For Our Turn To Speak

Why listening is a rare commodity in today’s society

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Waiting For Our Turn To Speak
Jason Roswell / Unsplash

Human beings, inherently, look out for themselves before anyone else, and while we like to believe that there are those that do not, everyone is programmed to believe that their problems and immediate world perspectives are THE perspectives. That the world is working against them when things go wrong, and the struggles they face are somehow of more importance than others’. We tend to stray from listening to people and instead wait for our turn to speak. So why is it that someone who listens is more appreciated than most, why do therapists get paid to do what they do?

As a society, we have been told to speak up, to have a voice in the ever-changing environment, both physical and cultural. We are told that our opinions matter, that our voices will be heard by those who are willing to listen to them. And when you tell a community, a country, a society that message, you have perpetuated a world of speaking. Of people that will turn their ears off and their mouths on to comply with what was taught to them in their youth. We continue to speak through the political times, enraged by the perspectives of opposites, yelling to prove a point to an echo, yelling back what you yell at it. We see it in economics, in social issues, and in immigration. Our whole lives have been encircled by the consistent need to feel acknowledged. And so we talk. We talk through it and hope that someone hears us on the other end. And it bleeds out into the day to day of our lives.

Have you ever been in a situation where you are spilling your heart out to someone and, when you finish talking, they ask you about something five minutes ago? And do you? To hold on to a question and think about what you will say, what the next move is. Not actually listening but waiting to ask the question, nodding compliantly to tell the other person you’re “listening”. Conversations like these are chess matches to some, looking two steps ahead. Knowing, not just what to say, but what to ask in return. They identify how they will start a conversation and how that conversation is going to end. In a world full of chess playing conversationalists, where do the words go? Or rather, to whom?

You see, therapists are paid to do what they do because listening has become as rare as a precious metal. They will sit down and, without interruption for hours on end, listen to what you have to say. They will confirm what you’re feeling is valid and that the world is not against you and that you are not alone. And while that is as important as teaching or being a doctor, what they do is not impossible. What they do just strays from the norm that society has taught us to follow: to be the loudest voice in the room rather than the largest ears. It’s the reason why violence and hatred have been put on a stage, the worse the words are the better. Society has become enthralled by this audacious personality, only reading the words to have an opinion rather than truly listening.

It is my belief that we will come to a checkmate, not when we are shouting and raising our voices to be heard but stopping and listening to the silence, the only words to be said "I love you" and "I'm here for you." Only then will we win the chess match of our society... and until then: It’s your move.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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