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We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.

This quote was written by Epictetus. What he said is timeless. Its significance is important for people in the past and in the present.

Sometimes, when we interact with people in both a professional and a personal setting, we forget the importance of listening. We unconsciously or even, unfortunately, value our thoughts more than the person we are talking to. This leads to complication.

One of the doctors in a medical seminar gave us an anecdote to summarize I wanted to share: There was a Chinese pre-medical student volunteering in an emergency room (ER) of a hospital. In the ER, there was also a Chinese man, who could not speak English very well, running about frantically, holding his stomach. He looked like he was in pain; the doctors immediately started running tests on him without giving him a chance to speak. In midst of the chaos, the Chinese pre-medial student asked the Chinese man, “What is the problem?” He said that he was hungry!

This story, although funny, highlights Epictetus’ adage. Although seemingly contradictory, listening is essential in speaking/communication.

I really appreciate the Urban semester program because it definitely fosters patience, listening and understanding.


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Program Coordinators

--Dr. Sam Beck--

--Amber C. Warner--
Urban Semester Program
445 E. 69th Street, Rm 324
New York, NY 10021
Phone: 212-746-2273
Fax: 212-746-8312