One of my favourite things when I was a child was listening to adult conversations.
It still is.
“Why don’t you go outside and play with your cousins?” was the question my family usually asked when I intended to stay at the table after lunch. At the time, I didn’t understand why I’d rather listen to conversations about politics and other issues that were very far from my comprehension, instead of running around like a normal little girl. Of course I loved to play, but when there was a group of adults engaging in discussion, I wanted to be a part of it. Looking at the world through their eyes was exciting and new.
You learn about reality through experiencing it and reflecting on it. However, being in constant contact with other people’s experience is just as important. One takes in what others did or thought and how they did it, but what interested me the most is how they say it. The choice of words and selection of moments says a lot about the person telling the story.
I truly believe that these moments of eavesdropping made me who I am. I learned to be a good listener, one of the best qualities to have. Although I know nothing about it, I’m sure psychology would back me up on this one: children who listen come to appreciate the world better.
To listen is an art.