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World Listening Day: The unique earth

19 July 2021

Hey, listen up! It is world listening day!

In today’s world, the futuristic technologies and intense stress we have grown accustomed to has made communication a necessity. Unfortunately, we now devote little or no time to the listening part of communication.

With listening becoming a rarity, world listening day aims to make humans listen to their natural environment.  

World listening day is a global event created in 2010 by the world listening project. This nonprofit organization is dedicated to understanding the world, natural environment, cultures, and society, through listening and field recording.

They also explore listening practices, including acoustic ecology, which studies the relationship between human and their natural environment as communicated via sound.

Hence, talk less, open your ears, and get ready to deal with soundscapes today!

What is the theme of world listening day?

Different renowned practitioners create themes to support the burgeoning interest in our evolving acoustic environment. These themes inspire special projects for the day.

Raquel Castro, a Lisbon-based filmmaker, created the theme for this year’s WLD (World listening day).

The theme for 2021 is the unique earth, and it is a gentle reminder that we all are a part of this mysterious planet called earth. It is also an invitation to engage and reflect on the persistent murmurs of the earth.

We also need to listen beyond the threshold of natural listening and listen to sounds that communicate the diversities and uniqueness present in our world.

Miniscule, underwater, aerial, hidden, and ultrasonic sounds that the human ear cannot pick could usher in helpful perspective on the future of our natural environment and humans.

Additionally, we must be better listeners as we attempt to build a culture of inclusiveness and empathy in our new world. This notion is what the unquiet revolution advocates, and it is what we all should seek to achieve today and beyond.

History of World Listening Day

World listening day is a signature initiative birthed by the world listening project in 2010. It is an international day that seeks to promote awareness for the diversifying interests in our dynamic acoustic environment via online and local activities.

However, the date was not a mere coincidence; it is significant. July 18th is the birth date of R. Murray Schafer, a famous Canadian composer, author, and environmentalist.

Murray developed the world soundscape project, which was pivotal to fundamental practices and ideas of acoustic ecology in the 1970s.

Since its inception, this holiday always has a theme tied to it. These themes inspire the activities for the day.

For years, the world listened day holiday garners attention from thousands of people willing to change the world by listening.  

Significance of this global event

WLD fosters the culture of listening. Over the years, the ability to listen with rapt attention has eroded, replaced with a loudness that trumps the essentiality of nature. This international holiday encourages people to listen with all their senses; and not rely on sight, smell, and taste alone.

Furthermore, WLD creates a platform to conserve delicate soundscapes and develop listening skills.

Traditions of the Day

The modern world offers us access to numerous benefits, but there are downsides. One of them is the hustle and bustle that our daily life delivers.  We barely stop to listen to our environment; in fact, this seems trivial and irrational to people; a sheer “waste of time” like we often tag frivolities.

However, it is not only the environment that is getting snubbed. We also fail to listen to our inner voices and whatever other people are trying to communicate.

It would be right to claim listening is gradually becoming a luxury that we cannot afford-- regardless of how much wealth we possess.

On the world listening day, we should practice the act of listening above the clangorous percussion of technology.

Talking less and practicing more listening is the common tradition of July 18th. Do a lot of listening, at work, with family, friends, your spouse, etc. The beauty of communication is the patience that each party practices while listening to the other. Ensure this is present in all your conversations.

Comfort pained coworkers by listening to their grievances, let them vent out their anger; trust us, this is therapeutic for speakers and listeners.

While working or going about your daily life, stay quiet when necessary and listen or observe the world around you. Listening to your environment and letting the serenity of nature sink soothes and calms your thoughts.

Above all, do not let the vital lesson of today elude you. Cultivate a better listening habit, understand the necessity of this act, and learn from the many lessons this underrated gesture holds.

How to observe world listening day

Solo Listening Walk

Unlike the usual walks down the park with music accompanying you every step of the way, this solo walk is more like a slow dance with nature.

Select a route that allows you to connect with a natural environment. For example, take a walk down the sandy path of a beach.  And listen to the pounding of the ocean and the insistent waves.

Or you may take a walk through the woods, listening to the chirping birds and the wind rustling through trees as it paves a way through the leaves.  

However, if you cannot access a nature-like environment, take a walk down your neighborhood.  Avoid talking; you may avoid paths where you could run into friends.

Weave through your neighborhood, listening to every single sound you hear along the way.

Go to a Concert

You can celebrate your world listening day differently. You do not necessarily have to listen to natural sounds.

Alternatively, buy a ticket to a concert and enjoy some good music. Explore genre of music you find interesting.

It could be hip music blaring in a chilled underground club or a symphony playing Steve Reich classic. Or maybe the beetles cover band playing entertaining people at a dive bar-- any genre of music will do, you name it.

However, regardless of the location and genre, block out the background noise. Ensure you isolate the sound of the music-- hear every tune and appreciate it. If you cannot attend the concert alone, ensure your fellow concertgoer is also quiet and appreciative of the music.

Host or attend a Listening Quiz

Organize a listening quiz where your friends and family will listen to different sounds and point out the source. For instance, record different sounds with your phone while your family tries to identify each sound.

Fun facts about listening

Women are better listeners

A study by Cambridge University has found that women are better listeners than men. According to the research, women use both parts of their brains to listen while men listen with only half of their brains.

Listening can help you lose weight

Research conducted in a restaurant alluded to the fact that music affects your choice of food. And most of the time, quiet music influences people to make healthy food choices. While louder and banging music instigated more unhealthy food choices.

Moreover, research by the journal of exercise physiology reveals that people who listened to music while exercising burned more calories. Additionally, music releases endorphin, which in turn mobilizes energy stores and reduces appetite. Consequently, listening to music can help you lose weight and equally make you eat healthier.

As shocking as this sounds, the fact that music affects people’s mood is enough proof that it has a visceral effect on people.

Listening to Music Helps

We do not need research to show us how relaxing good classical music could be. It creates a soothing atmosphere. Little wonder listening to music before surgery reduces cortisol levels.

And if you are a student, try listening to music before an exam; it helps you study better and get over nerves.

Listening is a skill

Regardless of how much we have trivialized listening, it does not change the fact that it is a skill. Quite frankly, about 35% of businesses believe listening is a top skill required for success. Unfortunately, only 2% have had formal education on listening effectively.

Rudiments of Listening

Listening is a difficult skill to acquire because we all have opinions that have formed our approach to diverse topics. Hence, when a conflicting idea comes up, we get defensive and strive to make our opinion superior.

This method only trumps the core principles of listening. Being an effective listener requires that you hold your thoughts while receiving other people’s views with an open mind. Refrain from making assumptions and listen to what the other person has to say.

Importance of world listening day

It applies to any environment

Anyone can enjoy the essence of world listening day regardless of their environment. So, it does not matter whether you live on the bustling side of town, or in the countryside, or a quiet suburb. You can enjoy your listening day without going out of your way or making excessive attempts to create a particular atmosphere.

Acoustic ecology applies to any environment. Hence, you have no excuse; enjoy this world listening day the best way possible.

It allows us to quiet down

Have you ever stopped to consider how much time we spend on churning out words daily? We understand that words facilitate communication, but we can take time to listen today.

Utter a few words and listen to the sounds between and around words. Listen to the sound of the city and the little beeps that we never hear above our chatter at work.

You will become mindful of the sounds that soundtrack your daily life

Here is a brief illustration that helps understand this. We all live in different parts of the world and engage in diverse routines.

Your daily routine has a unique soundtrack attached to it. It could be the voices of professors or car horns blaring or the sound of knives on a chopping board.

It could even be paper rustling-- these sounds have become a part of us. Sometimes they influence how we react to situations and specific circumstances. And the truth is you do not even realize that you hear the sounds because you are accustomed to them.

World listening day gives you a chance to let the sounds settle in until it resonates because, sometimes, sounds spark up creativity.

Celebrating your world listening day with Flexispot

World listening day is a perfect time to listen and reflect on several things. We at Flexispot understand the importance of listening. It is a skill we have grown to appreciate because we never stop listening to our customers and making furniture based on their demands.

However, we also need to emphasize that you sift what you listen to. Avoid all forms of negativity today. Motivating words and positive encouragements takes you farther than you would expect. Affix positive affirmations in your workspace wall and listen to yourself reflect on them repeatedly until it becomes your mantra.

Do you know what else takes you farther at work? A healthy workspace with workstations that shields you from harmful workplace injuries.

Our steady supply of office furniture never runs short, and we are always willing to take your orders, complaints, and suggestions.

Moreover, we have workstations that can make your world listening day more eventful at work. You can try out our height adjustable standing desks, desk bikes, and ergonomic office chairs.

These workstations are instrumental to staying healthy in your workspace. The standing desks will help you lead an active workday even if you work all day, while the ergonomic chair allows you to sit comfortably with lumbar support.

Desk bike, on the other hand, is effective in creating an active workspace during work. Check out Flexispot official website for juicy deals to make this day even better,   

Final words

World listening day emphasizes the importance of paying attention to our environment. It also looks to reverberate the core principles of listening skills and promote it despite the suppressing needs of our bustling daily life.

So, engage in listening exercises today and enjoy the essence of our natural world if you can. Shhh! Can you hear that? It is the sound of world listening day! Enjoy!