At times, we feel constrained. We feel as if we are in a jail. This is an intellectual jail. A jail where you are not able to freely express your views, and feelings. You feel alone. No one is listening. There is no compassion in others to listen to you. You feel isolated. To accept your views is the 2nd stage, but people can't even listen. They are distracted. They are not tuned to your feelings, emotions. If they are not tuned, then they can't listen. Compassion starts with listening. Listening is half of humanity.

Listening means to hear with the ears. But that is the basic. Actually, listening means to feel for the views of the other person. When the words are being spoken, you have taken your heart out. Now, you are trying to understand the other person. You are trying to reach out. Listening is not merely intellectual understanding, it includes emotional sensitivity. When the speaker speaks, and the mind understands and the heart feels, this is what we call listening with depth, listening with understanding, listening with compassion. When we do this, we have crowned our humanity. Listening is half of humanity.

Often people are talking and we are in such a hurry to respond. A conversation is not a table tennis match. The most peaceful conversations happen at the slowest pace. Because when each word is spoken, there is an attempt to bring love, and affection into the act of listening. These are conversations taking place in heaven - soft, slow, gentle, intimate. There is no hurry to reply. There is no hurry to prove your point. The message of every word seeps into the depth of the heart. Listening is half of humanity.

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