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  • Writer's pictureThabo Baseki

The Art of Listening: How Blind People Tune In and Hear Better


A man is listening intently to a woman

The loss of vision is frequently the first aspect of blindness that comes to mind. However, what people frequently forget is how amazing it is for blind individuals to listen and hear. In fact, it has been asserted that blindness can improve one's hearing.


Many blind people claim to be able to detect minute sounds that sighted people might not even be aware of. This is due to the fact that when one sense is impaired, the brain frequently makes another sense more intense as a form of compensation.


The spatial arrangement of a room can also be deduced by many blind people just by listening to the way sounds reflect off of walls and other objects. Both people and animals have this ability, known as echolocation, which is frequently honed by persons who are blind. But hearing sounds is only one aspect of listening. It involves being totally alert and involved in the present. Blind people have learned to pay close attention to even the slightest details since they frequently rely on their hearing to navigate the world around them.


The ability to listen is eroding in a world where there are constant distractions. Many frequently spend so much time attempting to make their case that they may neglect to actually listen to what other people have to say. On the other hand, out of necessity, blind people are frequently exceptional listeners.


So what can we learn about listening from this? Maybe it's time to start listening intently to the individuals we interact with and to the sounds that are all around us. When we start to pay attention, we could be surprised by what we learn. Let's take a moment to close our eyes and focus on the sounds around us, whether we are sighted or blind. Can you hear the trees being rustled by the wind? The background rumble of traffic? Your own breathing may be heard? We can learn to appreciate the beauty of the environment around us by tuning in to these noises. Let's embrace the skill of hearing and learn to see the world's beauty via our ears.


Something to take home? Learn to value the extraordinary strength of your sense of hearing. When you do, you will be able to get around in your environment, speak with others, and fully appreciate the various noises of the world by listening. And while being blind has improved the sense of hearing for many, listening is a skill that everyone can practice and master. Therefore, let's put away our screens, close our eyes, and focus on the noises of our surroundings.

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