Il n’y a pire sourd que celui qui ne veut pas entendre.
eel nee yah peer soor kuh slwee keen vuh pah ah-TAH-druh. Click below to hear this.*
There’s no worse deaf person than the one who does not want to hear.
It’s one thing to suffer from a loss of hearing. No one chooses to be hearing-impaired. It’s not only a matter of experiencing the world in its wholeness, but also a matter of safety: wouldn’t you want to hear fire sirens, screeching brakes, the rattle of a front-door lock?
But the worst-case scenario is that of the person who chooses not to hear. This French proverb evokes a person whose hearing is intact, and yet who refuses to listen to what others have to say. This is the person who says, “My mind is made up. Don’t confuse me with the facts.” This is the one who sees the world through his or her own lens, who wears blinders like a horse, oblivious to the idea that any other view could be valid. Don’t be that person!
*Some mobile phones, such as Blackberries, won’t display the audio player. If no player appears, here’s an alternative link to the audio file: