For most of my life, I’ve been pretty loud-mouthed; a fact that was helped by the fact that I took gaining knowledge as a race.
When I was younger, smarter and more ambitious I wanted to be a lawyer and as I grew up nothing was as enchanting as the sight of Franklin and Bash tearing apart an opposition lawyer in a court room.
And I sure could make a good argument (if my teenage friend’s words were anything to go by) and while I wasn’t where I wasn’t domineering in height and appearance, I made up for this flaw in oratory by speaking not only with authority but also speaking mostly alone.
You see where an argument involved two disagreeable parties, mine with classmates were one sided, and I had gotten so good at it that I felt there was no need to hear my opposition.
As a defense mechanism, my mind was tuned to interfere if a person was making their point, my ego wouldn’t let me.
Even when it was obvious I was wrong, my ability to come up with a response was second to none-almost perfect.
Problem was I didn’t know when to stop and listen.
The concise Oxford English dictionary, to which am a frequent user while in one of its attempts to unriddle the meaning of the word “listen” defines it as “to make an effort to hear something”.
The reality is most of us like to talk, but “to listen” which is equally important is often ignored for the very reason that imparting (speaking) feeds our egos better than receiving (listening).
Listening as a package comes with fairness and impartiality which are very essential elements that’s important to any person.
If you make an effort to listen, after imparting you get to hear the other side of the story which is half as interesting as the your side.
Listening and talking should flock together and its only fair that one should acquire knowledge and wisdom by striking the balance between talking and listening.
You can’t fathom how much I’ve learnt from listening more and talking less, of course its sort of boring to sit there and watch a person tell a lie or quote a wrong source, but when its all said and done, you get to have last and finest laugh by learning about your adversary’s opinion and using it against them.
But it hasn’t been all about winning an argument its rather been mostly about gathering as much knowledge and wisdom as i can get from anyone willing to talk.
While researching this post I was exposed to an aging but relevant statement made by Larry King that i found to be very underrated.
He said. “I never learned anything, when I was talking”.
And I replied from my blue chair at work.
“Great speech, I’ve learnt an awful lot , Larry”