In lieu of any good comedies, my wife and I have been watching old Frazier episodes. The irony of the character is that on his radio show he says, “Hello Seattle, I’m listening”, but he actually doesn’t listen well at all and is usually fairly self-absorbed. And of course, that is what makes the show funny, Frazier’s attempt for recognition, acknowledgement, and affirmation.
The art of listening is a discipline we start developing or ignoring from preschool on through adulthood. You may think of a previous or current relationship or boss who never listened, who ignored you and your attempts and engaging in conversation. Or, do I dare say, you may have a difficulty putting aside your own agenda and giving artful, deliberate attention to another created soul.
Do you remember your sophomore health teacher who reminded us, ‘in order to have a friend, you must first be a friend’?
Listening, true listening is an art. It is purposeful, intentional, sacrificial, and satisfying.