Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Learn To Listen: Embracing Conversation in the Digital Age

Look around and observe your surroundings, be interested in what other people have to say. Often when we are trying to find our way in this world, carve out a path for our lives we spend more time assuming than actually fully recognizing a message in its entirety. Observation is the key to growing as an individual because it causes us to become aware of what is going on around us. Observation forces us to take notice of national and international affairs, awakening our senses to other people's reality even if it is for one brief moment. You'll be amazed at how much you grow when you stop to try and gain perspective from expanding your ability to empathize with people you don't know.

When we are consumed with our own world or even our own thoughts, we do a disservice to the real lesson's people teach us. That is why it is always better to learn how to be a stronger listener and not just be an active listener, but one that is sincere. Being honest in your work; being an honest writer and filmmaker is that sensitive balance that comes from healthy objectivity and regulating your emotions. It is surprising how easy it is to get offended. It is surprising how easy it is to misunderstand one another. We live in a society full of "entitlement" thinking and egos that get in the way of healthy bi-partisanship.

The more the wave of technology brings new media and new changes, it is still just as important to know the power behind them. We must not allow technology to numb our sensibilities and cause us to forget how to simply be genuine and have a sincere conversation with another human being. No texting. No IMing. No phone calls. Take a moment out of your busy day, when you are talking to someone- learn to be a better listener. When you are having a good conversation or when someone is speaking and really teaching you something, embrace the lesson with both ears and a sincere hunger to want to understand their perspective even if you may not agree.

If you happen to have a good conversation with someone, count yourself lucky. The basis to any story,  good writing or film begins with experiences. Embrace the inspiration that is around you and experience a good old fashion face-to-face.