Is Anybody Listening?

many talk but few listen

It’s Surprising What You Hear…

Posted on | October 8, 2012 | No Comments

Telling our stories is very much in vogue these days – and it has never been easier. I have been writing up some of my “adventures” for a few years already – spurred on by those who keep saying to me “Why don’t you write a book?” A blog seems a good place to start. Besides, if I wait too long, I shall begin to lose much of the detail with the passage of time.

Here in UK the BBC has also been running a very interesting enterprise known as The Listening Project. Apparently it is patterned after StoryCorps in the USA. This week they have been promoting it again. Their by-line is quite catchy: It’s surprising what you hear when you listen...

That struck me. It is also right in line with what this blog is all about – the need for better listening. Beyond that , too, to examine if people really are listening – and if not why not?

The central idea of the Listening Project is that two people get together to talk and tell their stories – any kind of stories. And they record their stories and send them in to the BBC for their archives. The idea is that it builds a more composite picture of what makes British people tick. What problems and challenges they face, what their disagreements, their victories, their secrets – in fact anything they want to. It reminds me of the highly-rated book by American journalist Studs Terkel called “Working” in which people talk about their jobs, what they do all day and how they feel about it (back then in the early 1970s). An interesting snapshot in time. Today those stories would possibly sound a lot different.

Perhaps it is hardly surprising that people like to hear other people’s stories – ordinary people just like them, talking about ordinary things that we can identify with. It is good therapy for all of us just to take time to listen.

Oh, and if you want to read any of my stories you can find them at


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