I’ve been thinking a lot lately about listening. I’m not talking about just hearing what other people say. I’m talking about really listening to them.
Being a good listener has always been difficult, but in the high tech electronic age in which we live today, it has become almost impossible. We think that we have to be constantly “connected” to our cell phones and laptops. Often our communication is limited to short, sporadic and abbreviated instant messages.
I must admit that I too have fallen victim to the allure of instant wireless communication. I am never more than a few feet from my cell phone and if it lights up or makes a noise, I have to look at it as soon as possible.
I really want to become a better listener. Listening, really listening to others shows them that we value and are interested in what they have to say. It tells them that they are important to us and that we respect and appreciate them.
So I have been trying hard to be a better listener. I have found it to be much more difficult than I had anticipated. Even without the electronic distractions, I have found that really listening can be very challenging.
I found it difficult to focus completely on what others were saying. I found my mind racing ahead, thinking of what my response would be or about something similar that happened to me. Even with added effort, I found myself focusing more on speaking than listening.
While I found my experiment in listening to be very difficult, I will not give up. I will make an even greater effort. I will try harder to really listen, to my friends, my family and my Heavenly Father. I will try to be quiet, to be still and to listen…