International Day of Listening

This Thursday, September 21, 2017, marks the second annual International Day of Listening:

The [International Day of Listening] will promote a variety of events that engage people of all ages and all around the world in listening interactions—everything from one-on-one conversations with friends and family to business or community meetings to governments and their citizens talking about mutual concerns.  The goal is to promote better listening in our conversations that will lead to better relationships and solutions to problems that will help make us more human.

This day, sponsored by the International Listening Association, has its own website, an excellent resource for anyone who wishes to place more of a focus on listening.

Suggested activities range from listening to the environment on a mindful walk to listening to someone with a different viewpoint. Sharing and displaying this poster would be a good way to remind oneself and others that listening is a choice (and how to make that choice). Listen Like a Lawyer’s Twitter feed will share more information leading up to Thursday, but the best source is the website itself and International Listening Association’s email list. Check out what they are doing and join as a member or affiliate if you’d like to get their updates as an ongoing reminder and resource about listening.

Of course, you don’t have to be a member of that association to observe the International Day of Listening.

And it bears noting that this Thursday, September 21, 2017, also falls upon Rosh Hashanah. A friend and colleague, Rabbi (and Professor) Mark Goldfeder, suggested potentially reflecting upon Moses’ command “Shema Yisrael.” The word “Shema” may be translated not just as “Hear!” but can also be explored in the sense of “Listen!” Professor Goldfeder quoted a beautiful sermon from Rabbi Helen Cohn:

It is a great gift to be able to listen to another person in a way that gives relief and comfort and a sense of worth.  Being able to listen is one of the most generous and kind things we can do for another person.  And it’s an ability we all have.  We just need a few tools and a reminder, in order to do it well.

Here’s a post about last year’s first annual International Day of Listening. 

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