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How long has it been since someone listened—really listened—to you?

How long has it been since you truly, deeply listened to someone?

Hemingway said,

“Listen completely. Most people never listen.”

 (Now we know one of the things that made him such a good writer!)

 It’s true, isn’t it? Good listeners are rare. And it’s not easy. We often find ourselves half-listening rather than “listening completely”.

To listen completely is to not only listen to what the other person is saying. It also means to listen to what’s not said, to the thoughts behind the words or between the lines, to the tone of voice or special emphasis that clues us in.

True, deep listening may be one of the best investments we can make in our relationships. But there’s more.

Taylor Caldwell reflected on the further importance of listening in The Listener:

“Man does not need to go to the moon or other solar systems. He doesn’t require bigger and better bombs and missiles. And he will not die if he does not get better housing or more vitamins. His basic needs are few. And it takes little to acquire them, in spite of the advertisers. He can survive on a small amount of bread and meager shelter. His real need, his most terrible need, is for someone to listen to him.”

We sometimes wonder, how can I make a difference in this complicated world?

Perhaps today we could begin to make a difference…by becoming a better listener.

As a verse in the Bible says:

“Be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.”