Recently I have been practicing my listening skills.
I am attempting to become an excellent listener.
At social functions, at times, I will be asked if I have anything to add.
“Not right now.”, I will say. “I am too busy listening.”
Currently I am reading a fantastic book entitled, Everyday Greatness – Inspiration For A Meaningful Life by Stephen Covey and compiled by David K. Hatch.
It is a Reader’s Digest collection of inspirational stories, quotes, quips and commentary regarding various topics.
One chapter highlights empathy and listening.
See if you like this quote.
“The more empathy we have for others, the more we come to appreciate and reverence who they are. For to touch the inner feelings and soul of another human being is to walk on holy ground. To gain empathy for another, we must listen to them with our eyes and hearts, as well as our ears.”
So, I am practicing my listening.
I am at this point withdrawing from talking as much and listening with more intentional purpose.
My mother, in the days before she passed away could barely speak.
To understand what she was trying to say required a complete focus on her, her eyes, her lips, her hand motions.
Shouldn’t we pay that type of attention every time we are engaged in a conversation?
Can we even try to understand how intently Christ must have listened to those he interacted with?
The woman at the well, the leper, the lame, the blind.
I can not imagine Christ saying to one of his disciples as he looked at the leper with pity, “My, my, the things we see or hear…let’s move on.”
If I can learn anything from Christ outside of his example of love, it is to try and focus on the individual directly in front of me and to listen.
I want them to know by my eyes and by my heart that “I really am listening to you. Tell me more.”
It is then that we better understand the life of another and see them as God sees them.