Health and wellness · Language · observations

Differentiation: Listening v Hearing

 

There is a difference between listening and hearing.

 

I can hear the hummingbirds clicking, someone using electrical equipment – a circular saw – the scree deafening. I hear that damn ice cream truck that must stop right in front of my house every time hailed by the consumers across the street, including the one that stops every night at 10 pm.

 

I listen to the radio, particularly KPFK, to Amy Goodman, Sonali Kolhatkar, my friends on the phone, if they don’t go on too long.

 

But, I hear the seemingly never ending crying of the infant living in the House of Violence. I hear the drone, the underlying humming buzz, like a hornet’s nest warming up for a major swarm, that emanates from that house on a near daily basis. I hear these things and must force myself not to slip into listening, else I might begin to interpret the child’s cries as one of serious distress, that buzzing as the warm-up for a violent outburst.

 

Yes, there is a distinct difference between hearing and listening. Hearing is passive. Listening is active. Both can be informative.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.