Ahsan Mir
3 min readAug 10, 2022


“The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding” ~ Leonardo da Vinci

I wanted to write and I wrote. Then I held the “delete” key on the top of my keyboard. I said this to myself.

“I need to be a better listener.”

I have read a lot about listening. Critical if people in your life do not speak much, often the case with brilliant people, and when they do express, you have to take whatever they give and understand it. Listening should be active, it is an act of absorption and at best, reflection and compassion. It is an act of love.

I read something this afternoon, and of course, my logical and analytical brain always kicks in and tries to make sense of words, bringing history and context — all the good stuff. Then with a smirk, it shouts, “ahan, this is what is being shared.” it is but this. It is often wrong; I understood that a long time ago.

While the other part of my brain sits back on this grassy hill and keeps looking at the sky quietly. Waiting for the monkey to finish. In a while, the monkey comes back, a smirk on its face. This other part ignores, this makes the hyperactive monkey part extremely edgy. Hey, we handled it right. The other side of the brain just stays quiet.

After a while, it speaks in a quiet voice; I need to think. And then it goes into this mode, and often it takes a while to get out. It is long, it is quiet, and it requires a lot of solitude.

Often it comes back — with just one thing. Just listen, just listen to what is being said. Once you have understood it, reflect back and acknowledge it. Just being part of someone’s lived experience is care, showing up for them is kindness, being quietly there in their struggles is compassion, and just accepting them as they are is love. None of this is hard, but we often struggle with the basics.

Just listen… Remind people that they are loved, they are valued, and whatever challenges might be there, things always get better when we work together. Love is the most powerful emotion in the world; we often underestimate the power of love to bring about change. The power of unconditional love starts with acceptance.

Give people space to be themselves and be there for them if they need us. Once they feel ready, they might choose to express themselves.

I have to spend a lot of time figuring out the root of happiness. Unfortunately, I dont have an answer to happiness. But I did find this instead, suffering is a constant human condition. If we can reduce our suffering, we can increase our chances of happiness; happiness is never an event, a milestone, but moments lived and experienced. The more moments of happiness in our day, the happier we will feel. Enjoy each little moment, watch the moon, look at a flower, enjoy the breeze, write to someone, a cup of coffee, something small, something that is free, so find happiness in those moments. Go to a place that reduces your suffering, and you will find yourself happier.