The other day I again had the pleasure of attending a lecture by Manuel Campo Vidal. He is a friend, a skilled, nice and lucid person with whom I have happened to meet on more than one occasion. Manuel speaks clearly, with great pedagogy. His expertise is the art of communication. He is a good person and a brilliant professional.

From his speech I was struck with several ideas, but I found one in particular as very interesting, simple, powerful and relevant. He said: «In Spain we are taught in school to read and to write, but we are not taught to listen, or to talk». I found it such a wise reflection. The sad thing about it is realizing the fact that not all people take advantage of lessons on reading and writing. But if we even consider when there is also a lack of skill in listening or speaking, things get very complicated. The art of oratory, of knowing how to explain, and also the art of active listening are essential for any profession.

Yes, listening is a skill. And so is knowing how to express. These are not gifts. Like everything else, they are skills that require energy, hard work and a persevering, conscious and active exercise.

If our politicians, for example, knew really how to listen and speak (I do not mean to speak other languages, like English, for example, that would get us more points in international diplomacy, as it is much more difficult to achieve any connection and empathy assisted by an interpreter) it would be a different story and it would avoid the disaster of the continuing lack of dialogue and confrontation between different ideological options represented in Parliament.

Words are the most powerful weapon, said Raymond Lull many years ago, full of judgment and common sense. Words to manage reality. We are humans with the gift of speaking. Orator relates to prayer, prayer is to pray. He who speaks well, who is a good speaker, invites the other to pray, to connect with themselves, also to hear their own voice. Hence the importance of knowing how to speak. But before that, knowing how to listen is essential. Listen to speak well. Speak well to get into the soul of another. Nothing less. Nothing more.

Thank you, Manuel, for your thoughtful reflections. Fine words.

Let’s listen, let’s talk.

Hugs and kisses,



Alex Rovira