If this polarized climate has taught me anything, it’s taught me that I’m a horrible listener. Don’t worry, this article won’t be another critique on the ever crazy politics of this administration. Rather, I want to challenge the Fairfield University students to try to become more active listeners. Imagine, what would the world (or our campus even) look like if we took the time to listen to the opinions we disagree with most, the truths we’re constantly trying to avoid, or the people we don’t hear from often enough? Pretty nice, right?


These days I’ve been using podcasts to challenge myself to be more attentive—to really understand what is going on in this crazy world.


Don’t know what podcasts are? Well, think of them as audio magazines. Have a particular interest or want to hear a good story—there’s a podcast for that. Trying to learn a new language—there’s a podcast for that. Want some good commentary on sports—there’s a podcast for that. Need the answers for your philosophy paper? I don’t think there’s a podcast for that, but there are some great shows that can help you study!


Once you’ve found a show your interested in, you can subscribe and go! Did I mention they’re FREE? Its everything a student could ask for!


This week, NPR’sRough Translation” is top on my podcast list! Each week, host Gregory Warner explores how the topics we are dealing with in the United States are being talked about somewhere else in the world.


It’s not a news show or anything dry, it’s like listening to a story. The podcast allows listeners to learn and develop a unique perspective on the the rest of the world. Episodes have covered a range of topics from fake news in Ukraine to the growing daytime feminist movement in Argentina.


The Dalai Lama said, “when you talk, you are repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something NEW.” Listening to “Rough Translation” has taught me that the world is not so different as we make it out to be. We are all overloaded by the mass of information coming from the news, social media and the internet. No one has the right answers to solving some of today’s most critical issues. However, the best thing we can do is to be attentive to the needs, views and opinions of others.


Episodes are available for streaming now on all devices through NPR.com Apple Podcast, Google Podcasts, Pocket Cast and Spotify. So, what are you waiting for? Go take a listen!
Have a podcast that you think the world needs to know about? Email The Vine” at gracianne.eldrenkamp@student.fairfield.edu

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