Should you shield the canyons from the windstorms,
You would never see the true beauty of their carvings.
-Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, MD
Fore words. To listen: concentrate and make an effort to hear someone. To heal: treat a scarring wound by assisting in its natural repair. To love: appreciate; care deeply; regard with affection and compassion; feel a warm personal attachment also to humanity.
The power of listening is immense and immeasurable. It changes lives. Continue reading
The moral life, the life that transforms lives, begins in the ear, in the act of listening.
— Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
Listening: we take it so much for granted that we have forgotten how to recognize and appreciate its uncommon worth. We worry about what to do and what to say but not how to hear. Listening is the first language skill to be acquired by the child. Listening is a form of art. It requires long training and a lot of humility.1 We must do it for those who grieve. Active, involved listening leads to better understanding of others. Those who grieve need that understanding. Listening is a rare gift to give. Sometimes the most healing thing we can do is to listen, just listen. Continue reading
“When people talk, great things happen.”
As a society in general, we Americans seem to prefer “doing” rather than “being.” When someone dies, we feel that we have to “do” something for the bereaved, not “be” something. Wait: think. Just sit and listen. That’s better. That’s “being.” The gift of self is greater than the effort to act. Action too often minimizes the grief of the bereaved. It surrenders to an impulse to turn away from death and grief pain. It tends to deny death. Doing tends to minimize grief and maximize denial. Continue reading