Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Pair of Ears

                              A teacher of biology was beginning her class on the ability of man to locate a source of sound based on the relative intensities of the sounds received in the two ears.
                              To introduce the topic, to arouse interest in the students  and to assess their previous knowledge in the area, she asked a simple question, “Why is man provided with two ears and not one? What is the special advantage of having a pair of ears?”  
                             The students thought deeply. Suddenly a smart little boy stood up and answered, “Madam, that is to support the frame of the spectacles, in case he needs one.”
                              It was an unexpected answer. He was witty but naughty. But the teacher did not scold him. She joined the students and enjoyed the humour in the answer. Then, by asking minor questions, she brought the students to the correct concept and completed the class with competence.
                             God gave two ears to every man but only one mouth. This indirectly indicates that we must use the faculty of listening to a greater extent than that of talking. We can solve many problems of our friends by patiently listening to them. Counsellors use this principle in their service.
                             It was once reported in the ‘Reader’s Digest’ that many persons consult a doctor when all they want is an audience or a patient listener who would listen to their problems with attention.
                            Pandit Motilal Nehru was the father of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of India. Once Motilal Nehru went to Vienna to consult a famous doctor who had specialised in respiratory diseases. He had a translator to convey his message to the doctor. Motilal started to explain in detail the history of his disease and the treatments he had undergone. The doctor was impatient to listen to the patient’s long narration. Exhibiting restlessness, the doctor asked Motilal to tell quickly about his present problem without unnecessary description. Motilal did not like the doctor’s behaviour. So he told that his only problem at present was the impatience of the doctor. Hearing this, the translator started to laugh. When the doctor insisted, she conveyed the comment of Motilal to the doctor. The doctor also joined the laughter and soon the situation changed. The doctor patiently listened to the patient’s complaints, examined him in detail and gave him the best possible treatment.
                           Dale Carnegie, the renowned psychologist and counsellor advises in his famous book, ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’, “Be a patient and sympathetic listener.” A successful counsellor should be a good listener and be genuinely interested in the other person and in matters of his interest and should sincerely encourage him to talk about himself, his worries and accomplishments. Then his problems will melt away. Good listeners can console and counsel others easily, efficiently and effectively. This is a good way to strengthen our relationship with others.

© By Dr. Babu Philip, Professor, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi-682016, Kerala, India, Prof. Mrs. Rajamma Babu, Former Professor, St. Dominic's College, Kanjirappally and Leo. S. John, ManiparambilOoriyakunnathKunnumbhagomKanjirappally, Kottayam-686507, KeralaIndia.
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