People are just as wonderful as sunsets if you let them be. When I look at a sunset, I don’t find myself saying, “Soften the orange a bit on the right hand corner.” I don’t try to control a sunset, I just watch with awe as it unfolds.
I believe that the testing of the student’s achievements in order to see if he meets some criterion held by the teacher, is directly contrary to the implications of therapy for significant learning.
I hear the words, the thoughts, the feeling tones, the personal meaning, even the meaning that is below the conscious intent of the speaker. Sometimes too, in a message which superficially is not very important, I hear a deep human cry that lies buried and unknown far below the surface of the person. So I have learned to ask myself, can I hear the sounds and sense the shape of this other person’s inner world? Can I resonate to what he is saying so deeply that I sense the meanings he is afraid of, yet would like to communicate, as well as those he knows?
Topics: Pride, Communication
When I have been listened to and when I have been heard, I am able to re-perceive my world in a new way and to go on. It is astonishing how elements that seem insoluble become soluble when someone listens, how confusions that seem irremediable turn into relatively clear flowing streams when one is heard. I have deeply appreciated the times that I have experienced this sensitive, empathic, concentrated listening.
The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn … and change.
A person’s real need, a most terrible need, is for someone to listen…not as a ‘patient’ but as a human soul. To listen well is to respond to a great human yearning.
Wondering Whom to Read Next?
- Abraham Maslow American Psychologist
- B. F. Skinner American Psychologist
- Howard Gardner American Psychologist
- Timothy Leary American Psychologist
- Bruno Bettelheim Austrian-born American Psychologist
- Erich Fromm German Social Philosopher
- Martin Seligman American Psychologist
- George W. Crane American Psychologist
- Orval Hobart Mowrer American Psychologist
- Carl Gustav Jung Swiss Psychologist