Vidhur shastra says that we should never give advice to anyone, unless asked for ? I think its a brilliant piece of advise to follow in life. Today I heard my wife saying that some things in life are best left unsaid. This is equally a great insight.
We spend a lot of time talking than listening. We also believe in giving unsolicited advise to everyone around us. The need to speak is more than the ability to listen. This makes us more vulnerable in life. I have met people in life, who speak less and listen more.
The best people I have met are those who give you great insights just by not stating the obvious but making us realise it. It is like admiring a setting sun above. If you are enjoying a beautiful sunset and someone joins you, it may not be necessary to tell that person how beautiful the sun is as it is setting. Let that person realise and enjoy the beauty of nature by herself.
Similarly in life, the best advices are the ones not given but experienced. The expressions on a mother’s face makes a child realise their mistake . Is it necessary for the mother to scold the child by using harsh words ? It may not be necessary at all.
Similarly, a teacher can make a student more insightful by making their students realise their errors rather than scolding them. This experiential learning could be much more insightful than a dressing down in front of the class or the group.
The best bosses in the workplace do this very well. They do not try to verbalise your mistakes. They articulate your success well but make you experience your errors at work. They even tend to ignore genuine failures and look the other way as if they have not noticed what wrong we did.
The best friends in life support you by just being around. They may not necessarily be around you physically or talk to you often. But if they are around, you feel assured in life. Their physical absence or presence does not matter. Even if they don’t speak to you for months, you are not impacted. You experience them in life through their actions and not words.
Kinesics or the science of body language teaches us that more than 70% of human communication is done non verbally than verbally. We tend to focus on what is being said to us rather than what is not. May be it is time to learn the art of listening to the unsaid.
I have experienced better listening when I sit in front of the sea during a sunset all alone. The sound of the waves and the miracles of nature teach me more than the words of a thousand people on the beach. We not only listen to nature but sometimes listen to our own inner voice.
Let us learn life by listening to words unsaid more than those which are said. Our ability to listen to silence may make us wiser. We may be able to focus on what is not being said but meant rather than what is being said and not meant.
Let us learn to listen to the unsaid in life.
S Ramesh Shankar
29th July 2021