Charles Starrett


Blog, links, and…

Culture consultant & social tech teacher/facilitator at SoulCo & Northeastern University. He/Him. Dad, Harvard and NEC alum, visual thinker, dabbler in ukulele, electronic music, 한국어, and TTRPGs.


Listening as a gift to myself

Listening is not only a gift I give to someone else, but it’s also a gift I give to myself.

It’s true that when I listen generously to someone else, I’m giving them a gift. I’m showing them that they are worth my time and attention. They may feel that I care about them through my listening. My listening may also give someone the gift of hearing themselves differently when they speak out loud into the space between us.

However, when I listen deeply to someone else, I also open myself up to the possibility to receive gifts myself. I can receive the gift of learning new knowledge, perspectives, and wisdom. I could receive the gift of a light shining on one of my blindspots or uncovering some of my unconscious bias. And most of all, I receive the gift of a stronger relationship with the speaker as we weave our connection of understanding a little tighter.

Listening can certainly be motivated by a desire to be of service to another person. But perhaps if we notice that it is also in our own, enlightened self-interest to listen generously, it might encourage us all to create more opportunities to listen, and as a result, to create greater understanding and well-being in our relationships.

13 August 2022

Latest Posts