Recently, I was involved in a project which works to promote Mental Health and works alongside people with Psycho Social Disabilities. It was an interesting experience.
There is an increasing awareness globally on Mental Health, it has been included in the Sustainable Development Goals and there have been some portrayals of the real problems in movies and social media. This is a positive step toward dealing with stigma and Mental Health. But the number of people affected with Psycho social disability is still alarming high and a significant percentage of people are denied care either due to inaccessibility or unavailability of care. Along with this is , there is a even higher percentage of people who are at risk everyday and who need urgent attention as well.
Often we are shocked by the numbers and reports but are unsure what to do or we become immune or indifferent. With this alarming increase, pro activeness is required on all our parts since every number has a face, a story and when we sit down to listen we might be actually able to help someone and make a difference. This is just to remind us all on the importance of stopping and listening in this fast paced world.
Listening does not happen automatically, we hear but we might not be listening. It is a skill which has to be developed and consciously practiced. I came cross an interesting reminder on listening, in a book I was reading and thought I’ll share it , so read on to find out
The Chinese symbol of listening has several components
Ear – What you use to listen (hear)
King = Pay attention as if the other person were king
Ten and Eye = Be observant as if you had ten eyes
One = Listen with individual attention
Heart = Listen also with your heart (in addition to ear and eye)
This captures the essence of active listening, the crucial step to help someone.
People might not always use their words to convey what they are feeling, if we care about somebody, we might have to use more than our ears to listen.
So listen the Chinese way, make a difference, save a life.