Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews

Change the world by shutting up!

Everybody is only interested in themselves; I’m the only one who sometimes thinks about me. – Wim Kan

Yes, it is a bit paradoxical to talk about listening, but I think that you understand what I mean when I say: There is so much to be gained by listening to others, and I don’t mean to me – necessarily.


  • Helps us learn
  • Gets us closer to others – against loneliness, danger
  • (When we listen to ourselves, we can get close to who we are)
  • May help others to start listening too – do not burn-out

The world and the written world are often run on the assumption that all everyone ever should do is hear what we have to say.

Speakers and writers run our news and are our leaders.

Some have said: Politics should not be run by generals. How about: Our leaders should be therapist, experts in listening and hearing.

Some people know how to listen well. But often they lost their own voice, or at least, don’t find others who listen enough to them. How about training our kids and students (and first ourselves and friends) to listen and to share – by exchanging time.

Wonna improve any friendship or potential connection? Take turns listening to each other, without interruptions, or talking to each other. Swap three minutes and change your day. Do it every day with almost everyone and change your relationships and life.

Begin by taking turns with the people who are easiest for you – not the most hopeless or dangerous people, who would only drain or endanger you. When you pay enough attention, they will become personal and stop playacting and speeching – unless they are drunk or stoned.

Don’t compel people less powerful than you to listen to you. Just listen to them. They will tell you when they want to hear what you feel and think. Still, try not to talk to them about stuff that would shut them down or up.

Developing the following skills can help your listening:

  • Empathy
  • Patience
  • Smiling
  • Seeing the good (optimism, appreciation)
  • Humility
  • Shutting up, don’t interrupt (keep your clever analyses to yourself)
  • A chance to talk (after being listened to, it’s easier to shut up)

However, the best tool is to shut up and pay attention, no matter what you feel, think or want. That will improve the whole above list as you go.


  • Learn to listen, if you don’t already.

Check out tips from this TED talk.

  • Learn again to talk, if you don’t already.

Check out ideas from this web site.

  • Set out to advocate this dual approach.

Let me explain the last point. Listeners know, that it does not satisfy enough to only improve our own private circle of family, friends and acquaintances. Listeners are going to conquer the world – not by stealing it from anyone but by giving it to everyone. No one needs to be left behind.

And what about people who are good at bossing others around, spreading hatred, and making money from wars?

  • Most bosses can be retrained to work together with people who know how to cooperate and how to lead based on the best of what each person in the group thinks. They’ll feel more relaxed.
  • Most spreaders of hatred can be retrained to use their passion for love of others. They’ll feel happier.
  • And most of the rich can regain security by focusing on connecting instead of hoarding. They’ll feel safer.

Giving everyone a vote is not enough. Give everyone a voice. It doesn’t get more political than that.

Good listeners also tend to be more honest than good speakers. That will change the face of politics!

And why do I blog this today? Because I had this call ready today. Isn’t it high time that someone said it?

About the Author
The author is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (DES - Diethylstilbestrol), born in 1953 to two Dutch survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork, and holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam). He taught Re-evaluation Co-counseling, became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a vegan for 8 years now. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His most influential teachers (chronologically) are: his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach and lehavdiel bein chayim lechayim: Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff and Rav Meir Lubin. * Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years he wrote hasbara for the Dutch public. His fields of attention now are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science, Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight Truth), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, GLBTQAI, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), Ecology and Veganism. Sometimes he's misunderstood because he has such a wide vision that never fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what many love about him. Many of his posts relate to affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or are new insights that suddenly befell him. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, reassure the doubters but make the self-assured doubt more. He strives to bring a fresh perspective rather than bore you with the obvious. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds must be disputed. In short, his main political positions are: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, democracy, anti the fake peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, Science, Free Will, anti blaming-the-victim and for down-to-earth optimism. Read his blog how he attempts to bridge any discrepancies. He admits sometimes exaggerating to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quit a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. November 13, 2018, he published his 500st blog post with the ToI. * He likes doing age-appropriate and age-inappropriate things and looks forward to getting to know his timeless mature out-of-the-box soul mate. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me. To see other blog posts by him, a second blog - under construction - can be found by clicking on the Website icon next to his picture.