Generous listening

Generous listening is powered by curiosity, a virtue we can invite and nurture in ourselves to render it instinctive. It involves a kind of vulnerability— a willingness to be surprised, to let go of assumptions and take in ambiguity. The listener wants to understand the humanity behind the words of the other, and patiently summons one’s own best self and one’s own best words and questions.

~ Krista Tippett from, https://fs.blog/2017/01/krista-tippett-listening-questions/

I haven’t [yet] read her book, but I’m in total agreement with this statement.

I’ve had several conversations where I’ve had, literally, no clue where we were going to go. If I try to worry about that… if I try to think ahead to come up with a destination… it never works out well. The urge to do that comes from my fear of being heard as a silly idiot; I’m the host, I should know how this is going to work out. But each time I manage to rise above that fear, good things happen. Sometimes even great things.

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It’s the journey

Tippet resurfaces questions many have explored before us. “What does it mean to be human? What matters in life? What matters in death? How to be of service to each other and the world?”

~ Farnam Street from, https://fs.blog/2017/01/krista-tippett-becoming-wise/

Confirmation bias never ceases to amaze me. One minute, I’ve never noticed Tippett wrote a book. The suddenly I’m tripping over references and suggestions for it; Here’s a blog post from 2017 which I’m just reading 4 years later. And over here is a mention from another blogger. And then this podcaster. And so on.

Finding people, their work, their books, etc. feels like wandering through an ancient stand of Redwoods, (which is something I’ve actually done, just to be clear.) This stuff was here long before me, and will be here long after me. Sure, I’ve “hiked”—it’s just walking on a trail—far beyond the usual little loop which most tourists opt to explore. But way farther along, behold! Here is a bench, with a dedication. And even here people have been walking for, I dunno… 100 years now? I don’t even know exactly where this trail goes, but I can see up to the next bend, and the part I’ve already traveled has been purty durn neato. This other person exploring conversation and the human condition has, probably, already done more than I ever will. But that doesn’t take away from what I get from strolling the trail.

Because—as I hope you too have already discovered—it’s the journey that counts.

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