Better Hearing Institute


Hearing Loss Quotes


Will Rogers

"Congress is so strange. A man gets up to speak and says nothing, nobody listens and then everybody disagrees." 


Helen Keller

"I am just as deaf as I am blind. The problems of deafness are deeper and more complex, if not more important than those of blindness. Deafness is a much worse misfortune. For it means the loss of the most vital stimulus-- the sound of the voice that brings language, sets thoughts astir, and keeps us in the intellectual company of man. "

"Blindness separates us from things but deafness separates us from people."

"Children who hear acquire language without any particular effort; the words that fall from others’ lips they catch on the wing, as it were, delightedly, while the little deaf child must trap them by a slow and often painful process. But whatever the process, the result is wonderful. Gradually from naming an object we advance step by step until we have traversed the vast distance between our first stammered syllable and the sweep of thought in a line of Shakespeare."

John Marshall

"Listening well is as powerful a means of communication and influence as to talk well."

Rebecca Falls

"One of the most valuable things we can do to heal one another is listen to each other's stories."

Chinese Proverb

"Unpleasantness outside is easy to bear, but nagging at home is hard on the ear."


Ronald Reagan

"The District of Columbia is one gigantic ear."


Edward Morgan Forster

"It will be generally admitted that Beethoven’s Fifth is the most sublime noise that has ever penetrated into the ear of man."


History repeats itself because no one listens the first time.

My wife says I never listen to her. At least I think that's what she said.

The discipline of the writer is to learn to be still and listen to what his subject has to tell him.

A man has two ears and one mouth that he hear much and speak little. (German proverb)

Sincere advice may offend the ear but is beneficial to one’s conduct. (Chinese proverb)

Words whispered in the ear will be heard a thousand miles away. (Chinese proverb)


Ernest Hemingway

"I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen."


Samuel Johnson

"In order that all men may be taught to speak the truth, it is necessary that all likewise should learn to hear it."


He who has ears to hear, let him hear. - Mark, 4:9

Tomi Keitlen

"Sound is not only a guide to the practicalities of living….it is also an aesthetic pleasure." (Farewell to Fear)

G.C. Lichtenberg

"What a blessing it would be if we could open and shut our ears…as easily as we open and shut our eyes."

Chinese Proverb

"Sincere advice may offend the ear but is beneficial to one’s conduct."

A.D. Miller

"Listening is not merely not talking…it means taking a vigorous human interest in what is being told to us."


Alfred Lord Tennyson

"Sweet is every sound, sweeter the voice, but every sound is sweet."


Ambrose Bierce in
Devil's Dictionary

"Bore, n.: A person who talks when you wish him to listen."

Kimberly Keith

"The most valuable gift you can give your child is to listen to the little and big things in his life. Begin early so that the lines of communication will be open during the teenage years."

National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign

"Just talking to your child is only half the job. You can keep the lines of communication open by knowing how to listen and when to talk."

Dr. E. H. Mayo

"One friend, one person who is truly understanding, who takes the trouble to listen to us as we consider a problem, can change our whole outlook on the world."


Warren Burger

"Free speech carries with it some freedom to listen."


Mark Antony

"Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your ears."


Barbara Bush

"I think a lot of our problems are because people don't listen to our children. It is not always easy. They're not always so brilliant that you want to spend hours with them. But it is very important to listen to them."

Ken Johnson

"Listening effectively to others can be the most fundamental and powerful communication tool of all. When someone is willing to stop talking or thinking and begin truly listening to others, all of their interactions become easier, and communication problems are all but eliminated."

"The contrast between hearing and really listening can be as different as night and day. And in a business environment, not listening effectively to customers, employees, and peers can mean the difference between success and failure."

Hosea Ballou

"Education commences at the mother's knee, and every word spoken within the hearing of little children tends towards the formation of character. "

Arnold Glasgow

"Praise does wonders for our sense of hearing."

Abraham Coles

"Within a bony labrinthean cave, Reached by the pulse of the aerial wave, This sibyl, sweet, and Mystic Sense is found, Muse, that presides o'er all the Powers of Sound." (Man, the Microcosm; and the Cosmos)



"A widow who was fond of cleaning had two little maidens to wait on her. She was in the habit of waking them early in the morning, at cockcrow. The maidens, aggravated by such excessive labor, resolved to kill the cock who roused their mistress so early. When they had done this, they found that they had only prepared for themselves greater troubles, for their mistress, no longer hearing the hour from the cock, woke them up to their work in the middle of the night." (The Widow and Her Little Maidens)


Ken Kesey

"See with your ears and hear with your eyes."


William Shakespeare

"Delivers in such apt and gracious words that aged ears play truant at his tales; And younger hearings are quite ravished; So sweet and voluble is his discourse." (Love's Labour's Lost)

"Romans, countrymen, and lovers, hear me for my cause, and be silent, that you may hear." (Julius Caesar)

"Few love to hear the sins they love to act."

"And in some perfumes there is more delight than in the breath that from my mistress reeks. I love to hear her speak, yet well I know that music hath a far more pleasing sound." (My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun).

Dark night, that from the eye his function takes, the ear more quick of apprehension makes; Wherein it doth impair the seeing sense it pays the hearing double ecompense." (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)

"A man may see how this world goes with no eyes. Look with thine ears: see how yond justice rails upon yond simple thief. Hark, in thine ear: change places; and, handy-dandy, which is the justice, which is the thief?" (King Lear)


Ludwig Van Beethoven

"Forgive me when you see me draw back when I would have gladly mingled with you. My misfortune is doubly painful to me because I am bound to be misunderstood; for me there can be no relaxation with my fellow men, no refined conversations, no mutual exchange of ideas. I must live almost alone, like one who has been banished; I can mix with society only as much as true necessity demands. If I approach near to people a hot terror seizes upon me, and I fear being exposed to the danger that my condition might be noticed."

"Oh you men who think or say that I am malevolent, stubborn, or misanthropic, how greatly do you wrong me. You do not know the secret cause which makes me seem that way to you. Oh how harshly was I flung back by the doubly sad experience of my bad hearing."

"Yet it was impossible for me to say to people, 'Speak louder, shout, for I am deaf.' Ah, how could I possibly admit an infirmity in the one sense which ought to be more perfect in me than others, a sense which I once possessed in the highest perfection, a perfection such as few in my profession enjoy or ever have enjoyed."

"But what a humiliation for me when someone standing next to me heard a flute in the distance and I heard nothing, or someone standing next to me heard a shepherd singing and again I heard nothing. Such incidents drove me almost to despair; a little more of that and I would have ended my life - it was only my art that held me back. "


Tommy Smothers

"The only valid censorship of ideas is the right of people not to listen."


Mark Ross, Ph.D.

"When someone in the family has a hearing loss, the entire family has a hearing problem."

Ralph Nichols

"The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them."

Franklin P. Jones

"One advantage of talking to yourself is that you know at least somebody's listening."


Pearl Bailey

"To talk to someone who does not listen is enough to tense the devil."


Dick Cavett

"It's a rare person who wants to hear what he doesn't want to hear."

Hansell B. Duckett

"What this country needs is more free speech worth listening to."

Gayle Jones

"I learned to write by listening to people talk. I still feel that the best of my writing comes from having heard rather than having read."

Earl Koile

"I feel like a terribly slow learner in acknowledging that only in recent years have I come to learn that listening is a primary way by which I can become a significant person in my own eyes and in the eyes of others. And I must continually relearn it."

Philip Massinger

"How sweetly sounds the voice of a good woman! It is so seldom heard that, when it speaks,it ravishes all senses. " (The Old Law)


Ralph Waldo Emerson

"The hearing ear is always found close to the speaking tongue; and no genius can long or often utter anything which is not invited and gladly entertained by men around him." (Race)

"Ever the words of the gods resound; But the porches of man’s ear seldom in this low life’s round are unsealed, that he may hear." (May-Day and Other Pieces)


John Milton

"Where more is meant than meets the ear. " (Il Penseroso)


Oscar Hammerstein II

"All the sounds of the earth are like music."

Erich Segal

"True love comes quietly, without banners or flashing lights. If you hear bells, get your ears checked."


William Butler Yeats

"I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore; While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements gray, I hear it in the deep heart’s core. " (The Lake Isle of Innisfree)


Friedrich Nietzsche

"We hear only those questions for which we are in a position to find answers."  (The Limits of Our Hearing)


Octavio Paz

"To read a poem is to hear it with our eyes; to hear it is to see it with our ears."         (Recapitulations)


Queen Elizabeth I

"Princes have big ears which hear far and near."


Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

"Every day we should hear at least one little song, read one good poem, see one exquisite picture, and, if possible, speak a few sensible words." (Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship)


Henry David Thoreau

"We love to hear some men speak, though we hear not what they say; the very air they breathe is rich and perfumed, and the sound of their voices falls on the ear like the rustling of leaves or the crackling of the fire. They stand many deep." (A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers)

"When we are in health, all sounds fife and drum for us; we hear the notes of music in the air, or catch its echoes dying away when we awake in the dawn." (A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers)

"It takes two to speak the truth,—one to speak, and another to hear." (A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers)

"The ears were made, not for such trivial uses as men are wont to suppose, but to hear celestial sounds." (A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers)


Shelley Winters

"Every now and then, when you’re on stage, you hear the best sound a player can hear. It’s a sound you can’t get in movies or in television. It is the sound of a wonderful, deep silence that means you’ve hit them where they live."

Karl Kraus

"I and my public understand each other very well: it does not hear what I say, and I don’t say what it wants to hear."  (Half-Truths and One-and-a-Half Truths)


Benjamin Franklin

"The great secret of succeeding in conversation is to admire little, to hear much; always to distrust our own reason, and sometimes that of our friends; never to pretend to wit, but to make that of others appear as much as possibly we can; to hearken to what is said and to answer to the purpose. "

Anthony Holden

"If you have an anecdote from one source, you file it away. If you hear it again, it may be true. Then the more times you hear it the less likely it is to be true." (International Herald Tribune)


Gertrude Stein

"One of the things that I discovered in lecturing was that gradually one ceased to hear what one said one heard what the audience hears one say." (What Are Masterpieces and Why Are There So Few of Them)


Adlai Stevenson

"The sound of tireless voices is the price we pay for the right to hear the music of our own opinions. But there is also, it seems to me, a moment at which democracy must prove its capacity to act. Every man has a right to be heard; but no man has the right to strangle democracy with a single set of vocal chords. "


Harvey Cox

"All human beings have an innate need to hear and tell stories and to have a story to live by... religion, whatever else it has done, has provided one of the main ways of meeting this abiding need." (The Seduction of the Spirit)


Marian Wright Edelman

"It is the responsibility of every adult - especially parents, educators and religious leaders - to make sure that children hear what we have learned from the lessons of life and to hear over and over that we love them and they are not alone." (The Measure of Our Success: A Letter to My Child and Yours)


Richard M. Nixon

"The American people are entitled to see the president and to hear his views directly, and not to see him only through the press."

Mary Field Belenky

"It is through attentive love, the ability to ask “What are you going through?” and the ability to hear the answer that the reality of the child is both created and respected." (Women’s Ways of Knowing)


Sir William Schwenck Gilbert

"When the enterprising burglar isn’t burgling; When the cut-throat isn’t occupied in crime; He loves to hear the little brook a-gurgling; And listen to the merry village chime." (The Pirates of Penzance)


George Bernard Shaw

That is what all poets do: they talk to themselves out loud; and the world overhears them. But it’s horribly lonely not to hear someone else talk sometimes. "(Marchbanks, in Candida)


William Cowper

"There is in souls a sympathy with sounds; And as the mind is pitch’d the ear is pleased with melting airs or martial, brisk or grave; Some chord in unison with what we hear is touch’d within us, and the heart replies. How soft the music of those village bells Falling at intervals upon the ear in cadence sweet!" (The Walk at Noon)


Patrick Henry

"Are we disposed to be of the number of those, who having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it might cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it."


Robert Frost

"The ear is the only true writer and the only true reader."


Jean Cocteau

"The ear disapproves but tolerates certain musical pieces; transfer them into the domain of our nose, and we will be forced to flee."

Mason Cooley

"Advice is more agreeable in the mouth than in the ear." (City Aphorisms)


John Chancellor, NBC News

"There’s the Ronald Reagan cupped-ear gambit. The press is deliberately and systematically kept away from him. All you hear is a bunch of monkeys screaming at him when they could easily have been brought right up and the president could have stood and talked in a conversational tone."


Italo Calvino

"It is not the voice that commands the story: it is the ear." (Marco Polo, in Invisible Cities)


Charles Lamb

"A pun is not bound by the laws which limit nicer wit. It is a pistol let off at the ear; not a feather to tickle the intellect." (“Popular Fallacies: That the Worst Puns are the Best,”)


Samuel Taylor Coleridge

"Joy is the sweet voice, joy the luminous cloud. We in ourselves rejoice! And thence flows all that charms or ear or sight, all melodies the echoes of that voice, all colours a suffusion from that light. " (An Ode)

Frances Goodrich

"Every time you hear a bell ring, it means that some angel’s just got his wings." (It’s a Wonderful Life)

Tom Galloway

"I’ll defend to the death your right to say that, but I never said I’d listen to it!"

Chinese Proverb

"Words whispered in the ear will be heard a thousand miles away."


Dr. Cynthia Compton Connelly

"Assistive listening devices are like binoculars for the ears."


Dr. H. Gustav Mueller

"You have to hear what you don't want to hear to know what you don't want to hear."


Dr. Sergei Kochkin

"Listen….the best aphrodisiac in the world is effective communication. When you can listen to another person and respond to that person as a unique individual, you affirm their existence. When you affirm your significant other’s existence this facilitates intimacy. You might say then that modern hearing aids are Viagra for the ears!"

"An untreated hearing loss is more noticeable than hearing aids."


Dr. Richard Carmen

"The best method for breaking through your loved one’s resistance to hearing help is for YOU to stop being their ears."


Dr. Richard Carmen

"If your hard-of-hearing loved one resists the idea of getting hearing aids, influence change rather than embrace inaction."


Does not the ear test words, as the palate tastes its food? - Job 12:11


The mind of the prudent acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge. - Proverbs 18:15


Let the wise listen and add to their learning and let the discerning get guidance. - Proverbs 1:5


The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the Lord hath made even both of them. - Proverbs 20:12


Make your ear attentive to wisdom. - Proverbs 2:2


William Cowper

"But animated nature sweeter still, to soothe and satisfy the human ear." (The Task)

Pete Townshend


Pete Townshend

I have unwittingly helped to invent and refine a type of music that makes its principal components deaf. Hearing loss is a terrible thing because it cannot be repaired.