Two simple words that, as adults, we don’t often say a loud to each other but every day each of us wants that. To be heard and listened to.
We desperately want someone to take the time to hear us. Really hear us. But too often, we are too caught up in talking about ourselves to listen to anyone else’s heart. We are in too much of a hurry to slow down and really listen. There is too much to do and too little time. If the conversation isn’t about us or things that are important to us, it’s easy to turn off or tune out.
We’ve all experienced being on either end of that scenario. So we all just go through life figuring that’s just the way it is. No one really wants to listen to who we are, or what we dream, our hopes, our fears. And we settle for small talk that is quick and unimportant but puts a loose band-aid on the ache of our hearts that so want to be heard.
I ordered a sandwich this afternoon and when the waiter came up to our table with our entire order, he decided to strike up a conversation about what we were all working on/researching on our laptops & phones. He soon figured out that we are from out-of-state and went about telling us places to see, little joints to check out. But it didn’t stop right there, he sold these places to us. He began telling us story after story about each place, sometimes these places had multiple stories. His smile was from ear to ear as he spoke about his memories. This in turn fascinated us and we began asking him questions about who he is/what he does and it was obvious to see that his day was made….
I will most likely never see either this man again. I hope that he felt heard and cared for in those minutes I was with them. But I’m thankful for what they reminded me of once again. The profound power of listening. The small sacrifice of our own time and our own voice has the potential to touch another soul. With those we know and love and with the strangers who may “randomly” come across our paths.