Legaspi: The art of listening

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WE ARE in a world where we are too loud about everything. We fail to stop, reflect and listen to the inner voice. We are too busy with everything. When we start doing things, we look forward to the end and more often than not we don’t see the details surrounding it.

Looking back before the Covid-19 pandemic hit us in 2020, we were so busy doing nothing. We are always on the run for nothing. We’ve been busy getting into virtual realities and half-truths. Some of us are even busier doing fake news.

We lived in a virtual world of lies. Take a look at the accounts on social media, more than half live under aliases or in some other fantasy creature. Many become what they are not on social networks. We become talkative and we don’t listen to others. We used social media to check on each other’s status, but failed to examine ourselves further.

Today, as the Covid knocks on our doors and peeks through our windows. God gave us the opportunity to come back to ourselves and slow down a bit. This is the time when we can deepen the meaning of our individual existence. The incidence of Covid has given us time to sit back, relax and live in the moment. We can now appreciate the beauty of time and space. We can appreciate the presence of other people in our lives and we can now enjoy the company of real people and not virtual companions or enemies.

Covid has placed a ‘dot’ in our busy schedules. However, we must not be too confident, the virus is a virus and it kills

Quarantine or isolation can be a good time to get to know each other better. We can reconnect with God and with ourselves. He will have time to listen and time to think. It is a respite where we can listen to what our body is telling us. Sometimes we are so busy that our body is quite tired, but we can’t listen to it. More often than not, due to our hectic schedules, we fail to listen to our sick selves that sometimes our body will simply stop functioning. Covid warns us and tells us that we need rest and that we must find leisure for ourselves.

Pope Francis, in his message on World Communications Day, reminds everyone that we need to communicate and listen to each other. The world is already characterized by talking and talking, but we fail to listen to each other. Listening is not just hearing but really paying attention to what other people are saying or even what we are saying to ourselves. We have to listen to each other. We are a reactive people and we fail to become thoughtful.

One of my teachers once told me the true meaning of reflection. It is to place oneself in a certain reality but in fact not present in this reality. It’s like seeing yourself in the mirror. What we see in the mirror is not ourselves but a reflection of ourselves. This is where philosophy and science merge. We have to slow down to see every detail of our reflection. It is in the details and not in the whole. Covid gave us this chance to see the details for ourselves.

So we have to listen to our body. This is what we could understand. Science taught us bio-rhythm while philosophy taught us synergy. These two realities would really teach us the art of listening. By listening, one must open one’s heart and mind to the surrounding realities. We have to accept reality by living in the present moment. We really need to hear the signs of the times and the needs of our neighbours. It is in our period of loneliness or quarantine that we hear the voice of our inner self.

Good listening.

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