I’m listening

I went from reading out loud to listening to people speak.

This year I read out loud 10 books, that’s something like 2,000 pages, and never finished two dozen others. I read out loud in German language, English language and beginner level Chinese.

Even though… I seriously start to question my interest in Chinese language. There’s already more than enough good stuff to read from the German and the English speaking. Dante’s Italian might be a language to go for, or Spanish, or French even. I start to forget why I should keep torturing myself with Chinese.

When I started to read out loud in November last year, it went completely without effort. I had this inner urge that pushed me forwards. But recently it became harder and harder for me to keep up with my practice. At first I needed to schedule time to read out loud, and then it started to be hard to focus while doing so, and then I needed to motivate myself to continue reading.

But interestingly something else started to present: a deep interest to listen to people. So now I listen to people telling their success stories on Youtube, or their life’s biggest stories, their worries, their discoveries, their stories they want to share with the world. I listen to scientists talking about nutrition, to bakers talking about baking bread, to architects talking about building homes, to lawyers talking about the United States Bill of Rights, to seasoned doctors discussing autopsies and tissue damage they have never seen prior to the new vaccines. I listen to people listening to each other, to people discussing, debating and arguing. I listen to people reading from teleprompters—squinting, stuttering, or powering through it— and I listen to the world’s greatest minds speak out freely, from their hearts.

It seems like that’s all I do these days… listening to people.