January 30, 2015

A Person Who Listens.

Photo: ky_olsen

Today I came to the conclusion that there are two types of people that I love.

One of those types is one that knows nothing. He sits and questions everything. He sits like a puppy with eyes wide open, ready to soak in knowledge, for the simple reason that he is a man of enquiry and he is inquisitive.

Of course, they say that interesting people are interested people.

This man sits and wonders what other people think; he wonders how that person wakes up in the morning; what crossed their mind as they walked to the bus stop; what strange epiphanies they had as they fell to sleep.

He may know few facts regarding the meat of a conversation. Say the topic at hand is related to oyster farming; he may not have any particular interest in this. In fact, he may think that this is a peculiar topic of conversation and he might wonder how it ever came into being. Yet all the while he is enthralled by the interest and passion of the other person, who believes oyster farming to be either a tragedy or a vehicle for the greatest human indulgence. (Of course, oysters are a great aphrodisiac and they bring many people pleasure.)

He questions, “What is it that you love about oysters?” and he grasps at the philosophy beneath the other persons words. He listens intently because he loves to learn and he understands how wonderful it is to be listened to. He, too, wants to evolve beyond his own, habitual interests, which might be as simple as a tin of beans and the few dollars that get him to and from work.

Even if his knowledge solely consists of this, he now knows a few things about oysters. He knows what it is to listen, to not disturb another person. And he has strengthened, so to speak, his moral backbone by practising a quality that is so rare among humankind.

This man is charismatic—provided his ways of practice in this way are not obviously falsified.

He understands that, with time, not only will he be cultured on a plethora of topics, but that he will, in future, be able to enrich a conversation as a result of his labour of interest in others.

Aside from the selfish benefits of being this type of man, he recognises an exchange so powerful that it is a benefit to the social sphere, beyond that which words can describe. Simply because he has listened, he understands that he has provided the other person with a confidence in their own interests and perpetuated their desire to pursue them.

Knowing nothing whilst not feeling inferior; being innocently unaware of how intriguing and rare it is to be a man who knows nothing whilst not feeling an ounce of shame in it—this is beautiful.

To be someone who does not mind occasionally giving the power to another person—because it is their desire, their education and their worth—is handsome. It shows that whilst he may know other things regarding other problems of the world, he also knows that he does not know everything.

I have decided that, ironically, not knowing anything and wearing this with a peculiar confidence proves a man’s intelligence, integrity and maturity.

You can observe this kind of man easily. When someone speaks in a room and is about to provide their opinion, he looks to them. If another person attempts to layer the conversation too soon, he is the one that speaks up and pauses the person who interupted. He never trails with whoever talks because he understands how nice it is to be listened to and he has a genuine interest.

Moreover, I have observed that a man with knowledge or experience regarding something—anything—is also a fine thing.

He provides colour and depth to a conversation and he gives and receives information in a way that provides momentum to whatever subject is being discussed.

This man is beautiful to me, if he can do this in congruence with truly embodying a stance of ‘knowing nothing’ at times when he really doesn’t. He shan’t just scatter random, arrogant, nonsensical gesticulations and words like “Yeah I heard about that; I like oysters; I like oyster farming.” He first absorbs the information from a relatively objective position, until he knows more.

It is at this point that he can bring forward an opinion, and provide his input.

He brings forth not only an opinion on the topic he has recently learned about, but those he alludes to from the knowledge he has gained on a variety of topics prior. He has done this from a place of naivety each and every time.

Thus, his opinion is interweaved with both knowledge that he has gained during a lifetime engaging with other humans and the knowledge which is inherent within him from the day he was born.

Of most significance is the inherent desire that he chooses to listen to others. This is the most beautiful part of him and embodies the goodness that exists within a human.

He wears openly and outwardly the dimensions of him that he was born with. Those simple universals of passion and love and eagerness that exist separately from the knowledge one accumulates over the course of one’s lifetime. These are the things that are innate and pulse within every human soul. They can be felt if we listen for them.

The soul within this type of man pulses outwardly and stands alone, beaming a golden light upon the value and interest of the other person. It cherishes and understands that each human is intelligent and yearns to feel valued and—in this case—enjoys expressing their knowledge, passion and interests to an ear that is willing and wanting to listen.

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Katie Francis

author: Katie Francis

Image: ky_olsen / Flickr

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