"Thomas listens, and he hears too!" That is a cherished accolade from a wise professor many years ago. So, what does it mean to really hear someone? It means being in their midst; understanding. This means standing "as if" you’re in their shoes without losing the "as if" quality. It means setting yourself aside so you have room to absorb their thoughts, and the feelings that go with them. Hearing means you are listening with openness to the possibility of being transformed at the level of your heart. Do you want to know if you're listening or hearing? Well, then here’s the test. If you're just listening, you will be quick with your opinion, argument, or defense when (or before) the other stops speaking. This is selfish division. If you're hearing, then quiet awe will prevail when their words stop, and at least for a moment, it seems only one person is in the room. This is transcendent connection. Listening is good, but hearing rules!
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