The Art of Listening
by Erich Fromm
The basic rule for practicing this art is the complete concentration of the listener.
Nothing of importance must be on his mind, he must be optimally free from anxiety as well as from greed.
He must possess a freely-working imagination which is sufficiently concrete to be expressed in words.
He must be endowed with a capacity for empathy with another person and strong enough to feel the experience of the other as if it were his own.
The condition for such empathy is a crucial facet of the capacity for love. To understand another means to love him — not in the erotic sense but in the sense of reaching out to him and of overcoming the fear of losing oneself.
Understanding and loving are inseparable. If they are separate, it is a cerebral process and the door to essential understanding remains closed.
True peace can rarely be imposed from the outside; it must be born within and between communities through meetings and dialogue and then carried outward.
“Who, being loved, is poor?
“How can a woman be expected to be happy with a man who insists on treating her as if she were a perfectly normal human being.“
“This morning, with her, having coffee.”
Johnny Cash when asked for his definition of paradise.
“He loved her, of course, but better than that, he chose her, day after day. Choice: that was the thing.”
“Even after all this time the Sun never says to the Earth, “You owe me.” Look what happens with a love like that, it lights the whole sky.”
“Many are the stars I see but in my eye no star like thee”
Engraving on an 18th century gold posy ring
“For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul.”
One of the hardest decisions you’ll ever face in life is choosing whether to walk away or try harder.
Ziad K. Abdelnour