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  • Writer's pictureHenery X (long)

Hearing -vs- Listening

Thoughts of a free thinker



Hearing is common. Listening is rare.-Henery X

Hearing -vs- Listening


2024, Henery X ©


The photo I selected for this offering is perfect. The brother appears to be listening to something on his right, but heard something on his left. How am I concluding he’s listening to something on his right you may wonder? Well, it’s simple. The hand gesture shows that the brother has become curious.


Hearing attracts our attention, while listening requires we pay attention.


We can hear two people arguing in the distance, but we can’t make out what’s being said. Our curiosity will have us want to get closer so we’ll be able to listen, or our lack of concern will move us even further away from the situation.


We hear things every day, but we more than likely don’t listen to a fourth of it. Like I said in the opening, listening requires that we pay attention. When we pay attention to anything, it means what we have heard piqued our interest.


I’ve heard a few seconds of new songs that didn’t pique my interest, so I didn’t listen to them any further. Then sometimes I’ve heard new songs and I couldn’t stop listening to them. I was so hooked on the songs that I studied the music and the lyrics. This is when I heard things that only listening could be responsible for. Listening allows us the opportunity to comprehend things for what they are, and not what we think them to be.


When we’re engaged in conversation with a person, listening is more important than hearing. Sure, we hear what’s being said, but are we paying attention? Listening requires that we free our minds of all other things so the sound of the person’s voice can overtake them. We need to be able to respond accordingly, and this may not occur if we’re thinking of other things. Listening means that the person has our undivided attention.


Again, hearing attracts our attention, while listening requires we pay attention.


So, next time you’re engaged in conversation, just don’t hear the person’s voice, listen to what they’re saying as well. Hey, who knows. Listening may ensure you hear something worthwhile.


I don’t talk to hear myself speak. Because I already know what I intend to say. I engage in conversation to enlighten and to be enlightened.-Henery X

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