Have you ever been in that situation where you’re talking with someone about a matter you’re both so passionate about, that you just start talking over each other?

Or worse: Have you been in that really awkward situation where you and a friend are having some real deep, open life talk, but the friend decides the text he/she just got requires an immediate response, and you’re sitting there wondering if you should continue talking or wait?

In a world of so much talking and “me’s,” no wonder there is not so much listening and “us’s.” We all demand our story to be heard for the unique individual we are, but how is that possible if everyone talks over each other?

Over spring break, I ventured out on a hike to Black Star Canyon. As I walked the long trail leading up to the intense rock climbing part early in the morning, I could hear the beautiful chirping of birds and all of the sounds of nature filling the open air. With each step the sound of gravel under my feet was almost disturbing, so I would stop for a second and listen. It was as if the animals planned a sequence to give each creature its own part.

In a similar way, opening our ears and hearts to listen to people and their true, human experiences can serve as a form of love, a sign of saying, “I’m here for you. I know what you’re going through, and I’m taking myself on this journey too.”

By no means am I encouraging you to not give any advice if a friend asks for it or to refuse to ever talk about yourself. Of course, there needs to be a balance, or the world would be in forever silence. But there is an ideal self-effacing world out there that is yet to be reached. Listen to another friend from the inside out. Listen to the angelic voices of nature when you take a walk next time. Don’t just hear…really deeply listen.

Reste toi-meme,

Michelle Kang