“A man who listens to God well reads the souls of His creation too.” Is there an element of truth in there? There probably is.
The speed of our lives has shaped us into self-contained beings. Clutching to strands of information we might have picked up here and there, we declare ourselves a connoisseur. Now, for an occupied and self-important person pausing to hear anyone is as welcome as a skunk at a garden party. Naturally, communication also occurs in frenzy: a quarter heard, a quarter assumed, a quarter judged, and the rest imagined. How can one build a trusting and lasting relationship?
Relationships, on the other hand, grow slowly. They need to be nurtured with patience and require tending and attention every day. It’s not like going through school, where what you read in playgroup will never be repeated in higher grades. Relationships are about listening to the same people every day with the same amount of respect, care, and love, even if they sound like a broken record at times. Nevertheless, let them play!
What is responsible for heralding a storm into our lives? Without any doubt, it is our inadequacy to understand the people in our lives and vice versa. Don’t we at times find ourselves yelling into the wind? Why is family counselling being sought more fervently across the world? Why are the tenures of relationships shortened today, be it corporate or personal? Why do we see millions of bestsellers such as “Men are from Mars, and Women are from Venus” and “You Just Don’t Understand” being sold?
These indications come on the crest of a wave for recognizing the problem – the human heart’s hunger to be understood. “There’s no way to have rich, rewarding relationships without real understanding. Relationships can be superficial. They can be functional. They can be transactional. But they can’t be transformational – and deeply satisfying – unless they’re built on a foundation of genuine understanding.” (Steven Covey)
Understanding is not a body lotion that can be bought and applied. It demands intention, attention, courage, trained skill, and absolute willingness to listen to resolve. It means to work on oneself. To cultivate a terrain that is fertile enough to absorb fully. It has no weeds of prejudice, disrespect, malign, and suspicion. It’s tough work… but it’s worth it!
Rana Rais Khan