Listen. It seems an easy thing to do until you actually try. That's when its power is really seen. For to listen requires a number of different things to occur. I must quiet my own mind to hear what the other person is saying. Engage in what the person is expressing by leaning forward or attempting to block out other distractions. It requires feedback, nonverbal and verbal.
All of these things make it difficult to focus on the other person, however when someone has listened intently to me, I feel like I was valued. In the fast-paced society we live in, it is hard to narrow my attention to one person's thoughts and speech. But oh how important it is to practice this seemingly simple act.
In moving to North Carolina, we are surrounded by people who don't sound like Californians. They have accents. They talk at different rates than I'm accustomed to. And I know very few people. So, listening has become vital. I want to know the person's story, why they are the way they are, what makes them do things this way, how come they believe in that. Listening enables me to actually know someone. And then maybe they'll ask me about me. And if they don't, I'm still a grateful recipient to their story because it's unique and different than mine. Their life experience is meaningful. Listening allows me to get to know that.
Linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker for Five Minute Friday.