I had a nice talk today about mental health with an old friend. My biggest takeaway is that I think the world needs to learn how to listen more.
Listening is a highly valuable skill. In fact, more than just a ‘marketable’ skill, listening should be a basic life skill. And yet it’s something very scarce in this noisy and highly audible world. With all the noise, do we ever, really, get the chance to talk sincerely to someone?
While I want to answer yes to that question, it’s just not that simple. I empathize with all the people having difficulty finding someone who would just essentially listen and not ‘listen to respond’.
We don’t always need answers. Sometimes, we just need someone who will listen to what we have to say. The world is complex as it is, and finding answers is not always the appropriate approach. Sometimes, asking the proper questions instead propels us to move forward more proactively.
Questions, I think, are extremely powerful. We ask questions because we are curious, driven, or want to discover or invent something. We ask questions because they fill us with wonder and excitement. We ask questions because we want to find out how to become better human beings.
If we lose the art of questioning, what sense of wonder would be left?
In mental health, asking questions can be very therapeutic, at least in my experience. You start to ask questions that relate to yourself. You ask questions that try to clarify what you are feeling at one particular moment. By having that main question in mind, you unconsciously map out your way towards finding answers while not being forced to do so.
And I think that’s the whole point of life. More than just finding answers on how to solve daily problems, asking questions gives us a sense of wonder and rewires our mind towards a certain goal.