It's true that having ears is a prerequisite for hearing, but simply having the appropriate equipment is not enough. Ears allow us to hear, but listening is something far greater than that; it is what happens when we choose to sit up and take notice.
Another way to put it is that hearing is a passive process. We might hear the train off in the distance while we also hear the sizzle in our saute pan and our child telling us about the most recent episode of their favorite cartoon. We may hear all of this but at the same time not really be aware of most of it.
The sounds that we are truly aware of are those to which we choose to listen. Listening is an active process. We make a conscious choice to attend to the sounds, (Read more...)