The quote I sent today (March 22) to Quote Lady’s Quote of the Day list is one I especially like: “We hear one another into being,” by Nelle Morton. Listening is a neglected skill in our modern world, and being actually listened to and heard is a precious gift. I spent most of my professional life in college libraries. At one place I worked, degreed librarians were considered faculty. At another, we were considered staff. And believe me when I say there is a rigidly adhered to hierarchy in academia. Faculty and students first, staff last or forgotten. After being faculty, it was frustrating to suddenly be a second (or even third) class citizen. One day the staff representative came to talk to me. He listened to all my complaints and from his attitude and responses, I knew he had heard me. Though nothing really changed, things were better for me because I had been heard.

Why not practice listening to – really listening to – someone today.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes about listening.


Be a good listener; Your ears will never get you in trouble.–Frank Tyger

Deep listening is miraculous for both listener and speaker. When someone receives us with open-hearted, non-judging, intensely interested listening, our spirits expand.–Sue Patton Thoele

Effective listening requires more than hearing the words transmitted. It demands that you find meaning and understanding in what is being said. After all, meanings are not in the words, but in the people.-–Herb Cohen

The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when someone asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer.–Henry David Thoreau

I’m glad I understand that while language is a gift, listening is a responsibility.–Nikki Giovanni

It’s a mistake to think we listen only with our ears. It’s much more important to listen with the mind, the eyes, the body, and the heart. Unless you truly want to understand the other person, you’ll never be able to listen.–Mark Herndon

Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.–Stephen R. Covey

And my absolute favorite from Shel Silverstein:

Listen to the mustn’ts, child.
Listen to the don’ts.
Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts.
Listen to the never haves,
then listen close to me…
Anything can happen, child.
Anything can be.–Shel Silverstein

Find nearly 9000 inspirational quotes and a link to the Quote of the Day list at

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