The child's entire life is influenced by his ability to listen. Good listening habits make it possible for him to broaden his knowledge, enjoy music, conversation, storytelling, drama; discriminating listening makes it possible for him to select radio and television programs for enjoyment. Critical listening helps him function intelligently in selection of governmental leaders. It is quite possible that the ability to listen effectively may be one of the most valuable tools he can use in his efforts to bring understanding and peace to the world.
I have suggested that listening requires something more than remaining mute while looking attentive, namely, it requires the ability to attend imaginatively the another's language. Actually, in listening we speak the others' words.
Every individual is a king in the castle of his own mind. As king of his thoughts he can think those thought which will make him an unhappy and fearful monarch, or he can make his reign joyous and harmonious by listening to the Father within himself before making decisions.
It is one of the many paradoxes of psychology that the pursuit of happiness defeats its own purpose. We find happiness only when we do not directly seek it. An analogy will make this clear. In listening to music at a concert, we experience pleasurable feelings only so long as our attention is directed towards the music. But if in order to increase our happiness we give all our attention to our subjective feeling of happiness, it vanishes. Nature contrives to make it impossible for anyone to attain happiness by turning into himself.
Today, thanks to technical progress, the radio and television, to which we devote so many of the leisure hours once spent listening to parlor chatter and parlor music, have succeeded in lifting the manufacture of banality out of the sphere of handicraft and placed it in that of a major industry.
Purpose is about developing relationships. Purpose is about bringing attention and intention into the present moment, moving ahead with new ideas, giving and receiving support, volunteering, mentoring, listening to the imagination and intuition, communicating, taking action based on inner direction and hints from the external, being adaptable, taking responsibility and ending the victim stance forever surrendering to the divine will and working with the lessons developing fluidity, tolerance, compassion, and the ability to love.
It is a man listening through a tornado for the Still Small Voice… a soul standing in awe before the mystery of the Universe… a hungry heart seeking for love… Time flowing into Eternity… IT is a man climbing the altar stairs to God.