The greatest gift we can give one another
is rapt attention to one another’s existence.
-Sue Atchley Ebaugh
Today, see if you can stretch your heart
and expand your love so that it touches not only
those to whom you can give it easily,
but also those who need it so much.
-Daphne Rose Kingma, submitted by Beth S., Lincoln, Nebraska
I hung out with some YMCA Professionals from the Pacific Northwest
recently, as well as a group of managers, supervisors and team leads
from Lutheren Social Services of Wisconsin. Both of these groups are
filled with compassionate helpers who are trained and gifted at
listening to the needs of their clients. I challenged them apply
their extraordinary listening talents to other interactions, whether
it be with a frustrated co-worker, controlling supervisor or whining
subordinate. Many of the challenges people are dealing with could be
more effectively faced after an opportunity to explore options or
simply to vent with an impartial listener.
Do you have someone in your life that you avoid because you don’t
like them very much? Even if they deserve the low opinion you hold
of them, I dare you to test your compassion by finding a way to be
there for them–even if it means simply spending a few minutes
listening to them vent without judgment. In some cases, it could be
the most difficult task you accomplish this week . I suspect this
“rapt attention” could also be a most powerful opportunity to explore
patience, humility, and peace.
Give it a try!