DignityWe give dignity to each other by the way we listen to each other, in a spirit of trust and dying to oneself so that the other may live, grow and give.
Jean Vanier, From Brokenness to Community, p.36
Listening! That’s big! Listening is how we offer dignity to another. How are your listening skills? Do we practice active listsening? Or do we listen with an ear to jump I with our own story or anecdote, or retort.
In his book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey notes that ‘Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.’ He’s right.
Perhaps part of what we might do this Lenten season, is focus some attention on listening to understand. Perhaps we might pray for the patience, to give dignity to those we are with by actually listening to them. By hearing them completely.
May God give us hearts to listen. So that we do not become people that are (as John Wayne said) ‘short on ears and long on mouth.’