On Listening

Immediately to lash out in retaliation, however, and neither to listen nor be listened to, but to speak while being spoken to, is scandalous; on the other hand anyone who has acquired the ability to listen in a self-controlled and respectful fashion is receptive to and retentive of any remarks that are useful, while any that are useless or false are quite transparent to him and easily detectable, because he is–as is obvious–aiming at the truth rather than at winning an argument, and does not pitch in head first for a fight.

Essays by Plutarch