The problem that Julian Treasure states is that we’re losing our listening: we retain only 25% of what we hear. He defines listening as making meaning from sound. Julian says we use a lot of techniques to do it: firstly, when it’s noisy, we react at some sounds and words, especially our names – that’s how we recognize patterns. Secondly, we use differencing: if some sound remains for more than a couple of minutes we’re getting used to it. And finally, there’s a whole range of filters like culture, language, values, beliefs, attitude, expectations, intentions that are creating our reality by telling us what we’re paying attention to at this moment. Julian also claims that sound places us in space and in time. Even when we close our eyes we can guess how many people are around us and what the size of the room we’re in is. Sound places us in time because it always has time embedded in it. He adduces the arguments to prove we’re losing our listening: to begin with, people invented writing, audio and video recording and so listening lost its premium. What’s more, the world is too noisy our days – visually and auditorily – it’s hard to concentrate on listening someone. Besides, people keep using their headphones in public places and that prevents them from listening to each other.
Also now people are starting to use personal broadcast instead of the conversation. In addition, our media gets our attention by some ‘loud’ sensational headlines using the words like ‘shock’, ‘revealed’, ‘scandal’ and that prevents us from noticing what’s understated. This problem is serious because the world where people do not listen to each other is a violent place. Julian offers us 5 exercises to improve our listening skills: the first is three minutes a day of silence to let our ears hear the quiet again. The second one is listening to how many channels of sounds you hear in a noisy place. The third one is enjoying simple sounds we hear every day and looking at it from another view. The forth one Julian calls the most important – it’s changing your listening position to what’s appropriate, to what you’re listening to. And the last one is an acronym – “RASA”, it stands for ‘receive’, ‘appreciate’, ‘summarize’, ‘ask’. Finally, Julian says that listening is important for us to live fully and to understand each other and the world around us. He appeals that listening should be taught at schools to make our next generation realise how dangerous losing listening can be. Julian Treasure hopes that this way we can make our world peaceful.