Tuesday, January 15, 2013

2013: An Epidemic of Listening

As the 2013 year goes forward, I can’t help but muse about how it will unfold. I wonder what might be spawned if our communal inner humanity chose to envision it as a year of “personal and global listening”. The “speaker” could be anyone or anything that enters our lives.

Many have experienced how readily listening conveys respect. Whenever someone chooses the requisite “self-forgetting” needed for whole-hearted listening, the door to tender truths embedded in the “speaker” is allowed to open. Listening to another, to the “other”, comes as a fleeting gift. Within those precious transpersonal moments, something always shifts both in the “speaker” and the listener. Both are left with a residue of mysterious “insights” twinned with subtle mutual invitations.

One person’s listening insights likely will not directly affect the quality of dialog in the large arenas of politics, religion, education, health, social justice, etc. during 2013. But the cumulative discovery of uncluttered listening and life-giving, respectful breathing space for “speakers” may potentially release creative energy into the universe. This compassionate listening energy has potential connectivity-power. What if it spawned an “awe-filled” epidemic, which gave language to the rich complexity of those we consider “others”? That’s a contagion-dynamic I’d eagerly be willing to live with in the months ahead.

Mary Rachel Kuebelbeck, OSB

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