Listening describes an intentional activity. When you are listening, you are actively trying to hear something.
In contrast, hearing is something that happens without any intentional effort. You can hear something even when you don't want to hear it and don't try to hear it.
Hearing a function of the physical and listening a function of the mind.
Many a time, we hear but dont listen. We hear sounds being emitted from someone's mouth and we think we know what they are saying, but we really listened to what the other person said, why was there a miscommunication? Why did we misunderstand?
Or did we misunderstand? and we are reacting because we really listened and didnt like what we heard. The utterer of the words, just assumed that as usual no one really pays attention, and relieved himself of his feelings, hoping to cause an effect to the listener.
Have I managed to confuse you?
I didnt mean to cause confusion, just to get you to listen ;-)
Have you noticed that many a time, people response to each in non coherent ways - to find examples, check out social networks on the internet. It may be to do with the fact that many different races, speakers are all trying to communicate to each other in one language medium; and some people dont have a good grasp of that language. It can be quite amusing to see what people are saying to each other and how they response to each other. On many occassions I had to laugh to myself, it was that funny. What is remarkable however, is the patience and forgiving nature of the co-respondent. People make allowances for each other and politely respond, even if they are confused by the less able speaker.
People are wonderful on the whole and very generous dont you think.
However, there are instances, when emotion gets in the way and then listening takes a different path. When we are emotionally wound up about something and we discuss it with someone, we usually dont hear their words, let alone listen properly. We usually are governed by our own feelings and we only hear what we want to hear. During such times, we do not listen. It is a shame, for thats' how create more hurt for ourselves and for others.
On the other hand, why is it that we sometimes, chose to listen to negativity. Are we masochistic in a small way? When the biatch or ape said that we look fat, why did we chose to listen, when it was obviously malicious. Why did we hurt? Or correctly, why did we allow such vile words hurt us? Perhaps they had touched a weak spot. And we all certainly have that weak spot dont we.
But we mustnt let words injure our soul ... they are only words, utterances of different pitch and tone, coming out of another human. That's all.
The human is a wonderous being, with weaknesses and strengths, lets build on our strengths and not let our weakness rule.
Do Be aware of what the utterer is saying ... they may just be malicious or they may an ulterior motive but dont misconstrue the words of the well intentioned souls who mean you no harm. Listen carefully, dont just hear, with listening, you may learn to differentiate the good and well meaning from the harmful and nasty.
The choice to listen is always ours, no one else's. Listening is a strength, use it wisely, but use it.
Another time, we will talk about choice of words, if you want to read it that is ;-)