Those of you that read my blog regularly have most likely noticed that my posts are usually humorous. However, the other day I was spacing out (as I seem to do a lot) and a passage that we recite at the Jewish summer camp I work at popped into my head and got me thinking. I’m not really one to openly talk about my feelings and insecurities and keeping a diary seems a little too “precious” for me but I’m posting this because there are some things in life that can’t be explained through wit and excess coffee.

“The person who stifles the sound of his conscience
And tells himself he has done enough already,
Hears—but does not really hear.”

Someone once told me that I appear detached when first meeting me, that I almost seem too cool to engage in conversation. This is not the case at all. I often have a hard time conversing with people because my head is constantly swarming with a million thoughts. I’m always thinking; this is both a great and terrible thing.

Sometimes my thoughts are insignificant like where I should get my next coffee or if I remembered to text someone back. Other times they are deep and penetrating like the times I start to wonder what I’m living for. Regardless, I am always thinking.

It’s hard to listen when my head is continuously contaminated by worries, fears, and aspirations that I have yet to accomplish. And listening is hard to do when we are constantly being molded by our surrounding influences. This raises the question: who should we listen to? Should we listen to the T.V reciting robotic facts, the bias friend, the anal professor, the over concerned parents, the homeless preacher on the train– should we even listen to ourselves?

We only hear what we listen to, to listen is an act of choice. As humans we have a tendency to filter what we hear. Whether it is based on personal interests or because it is too painful to fully acknowledge. The mind works in ineffable ways; we may never fully understand its mechanism.

I’m trying to listen.
I’m trying to listen to others, to my surroundings, and to myself.

On the rare occasion I drink tea instead of coffee, I like to read the quotes that are on the label of each tea bag.  And I will always remember looking down and seeing these tiny words scripted on one of the labels:  “When we practicing listening we become intuitive” — that was one of the wisest cups of tea i have drank.


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