I have always been passionate about listening. The reflections I presented in the book “The power of soul listening” show that human beings are still far from appreciating the value of listening and respecting the ideas of others. The ability to listen with attention, feeling and critical discernment is a magical ability and the basis of all effective relationships, both personal and social or political.

Today, it is easy to find political leaders who do not listen. Some people stand out to whom the citizens have clearly said “no”, but insist on not knowing the reality. The consequences of their irrational acts could be devastating because they do not understand that no means no!

Almost all of us find it hard to say “no”, due to the difficulty of changing mentalities, unlearning and admitting our own right to be as we want, without external impositions. The great Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez affirmed: “The most important thing I learned after 40 years was to say no when means no”. Once we understand it, we have to convince others to respect our decisions.

There are too many negative examples. Nicolás Maduro, whom Venezuela said “no” to elect a National Assembly with an opposition majority, violates the laws to ignore it. The government of Cuba, which millions have said “no” to “vote with their feet” and flee, now wants to approve a new continuist Constitution. Evo Morales, who lost the referendum to re-elect himself, insists on ignoring the popular clamor of Bolivians. President Donald Trump, who does not get funds to raise the wall, now threatens to look for them through questionable formulas.

Not knowing how to listen or simulate deafness complicates all the tragedies that humanity suffers today. The rulers are supposed to be citizens, but they do not respect it. Instead of setting the example, they contribute to aggravating the three serious problems that plague the world: selfishness, apathy, and greed.

As “The Book of James” says: “(…) Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteousness that God desires.… (…) humbly receive the word planted in you, which can save your souls. Be doers of the word, and not hearers only…”