We will never be able to speak as quickly as we can hear
People don't talk like this, theytalklikethis. Syllables, words, sentences run together like a watercolor left in the rain. To understand what anyone is saying to us we must separate these noises into words and the words into sentences so that we might in our turn issue a stream of mixed sounds in response. If what we say is suitably apt and amusing, the listener will show his delight by emitting a series of uncontrolled high-pitched noises, accompanied by sharp intakes of breath of the sort normally associated with a seizure or heart failure. And by these means we converse. Talking, when you think about it, is a very strange business indeed.
And yet we achieve the process effortlessly. We absorb and interpret spoken sounds more or less instantaneously. If I say to you, "Which do you like better, peas or carrots?" it will take you on average less than a fifth of a second—the length of an eye blink—to interpret the question, consider the relative merits of the two vegetables, and formulate a reply. We repeat this process hundreds of times a day, generally with such speed that often we have our answer ready before the per-son has even finished the question. As listeners we can distinguish between the most subtle gradations of emphasis.
Most people, if they are reasonably attentive, can clearly detect the difference between that's tough and that stuff between I love you and isle of view, and between gray day and Grade A even though the phonics could hardly be more similar. Sometimes, however, precise diction proves elusive, particularly when there is no direct eye contact. (It is remarkable the extent to which we read lips—or at least facial expressions.) Every newspaper person has his or her favorite story involving slipups resulting from misheard dictation. I remember once while working on an evening newspaper in southern England receiving a wire service story that made absolutely no sense until a correction was sent a few minutes later saying: 'In the preceding story, for 'Crewe Station' read 'crustacean.' " In a similar way, pilots long had difficulty in distinguishing between five and nine until someone thought to start using the more distinct fiver and niner. Germans, suffering a similar problem with zwei and drei, introduced the nonce word zwo, for two, to deal with such misunder-standings.
Despite these occasional drawbacks, listening is something we do remarkably well. Speech, by contrast, is a highly inefficient process. We are all familiar with the feeling of not being able to get the words out fast enough, of mixing up sounds into spoonerisms, of stumbling over phonetically demanding words like statistics and proprietoriak. The fact is that we will never be able to speak as quickly as we can hear.
It seems that there is a very specific area in the brain which could be called poetic memory and which records what has charmed us, what has moved us, what gives our life its beauty.
Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity... It is, in short, the subject of the history of the Grail. Only a predestined being has the ability to ask another: what is your torment? And he doesn't have it when he enters life. He has to go through years of dark night.
Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.
Almost everyone in the world is self-absorbed within themselves. They regard themselves as the most important beings. People rarely speak bad about themselves. They are the heroes in their own story no matter how much entanglement of lies and bullshit is needed to achieve a gratifying and satisfying version of the tale.
By observing their actions, you could trace back their thought pattern, intentions, interest, and vision. Stop for a moment and analyze the action. Stop caring about what they say, what they think about how the world should be, how everyone can execute their best, or why the world is so messed up. They speak whatever hell it takes to sound amazing. Listen to their actions. Listen only and only to their actions.
We all have forests on our minds. Forests unexplored, unending. Each one of us gets lost in the forest, every night, alone.