ON LISTENING


One of the most basic of all human needs is the need to be understood.

To be heard. To be seen. To know that we matter.

Today, what might happen if we paid our courage and compassion forward to meet this need for another? Perhaps even another with whom we disagree?

What if, instead of listening with the intent to reply, we listened as St. Benedict advised, “with the ear of the heart?” Is it possible some new and powerful truth might unfold in the space between us?

It’s easy to resign ourselves to bitterness. To justify our judgment of each other. To dismiss or disrespect those we don’t understand, even though we know this is not the kind of world we want.

The harder thing is to pull up a chair.
To sit down.
To breathe deep.
And to remind yourself that you are the one you’ve been waiting for.