Friday, February 15, 2008

Can you hear me now?

“The first duty of love is to listen.” Paul Tillich

“Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward. When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand. Ideas actually begin to grow within us and come to life...When we listen to people there is an alternating current, and this recharges us so that we never get tired of each other...and it is this little creative fountain inside us that begins to spring and cast up new thoughts and unexpected laughter and wisdom. ...Well, it is when people really listen to us, with quiet fascinated attention, that the little fountain begins to work again, to accelerate in the most surprising way.” Brenda Ueland

“If the person you are talking to doesn't appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear.”
A. A. Milne

I just spent the past few days with my friend Amanda in Munich. The purpose of the trip was to meet baby Franz and to give the new momma a helping hand. (Poppa Aaron is snowed under with work these days but he sure does love little Emily.) While there, I had a lot of time to think about the importance of listening. Amanda is one of those listeners who makes you feel so well known and seen. She asks questions and gives advice but mainly she just listens. (She also has a remarkable memory- friends from home reading this, just know that there's a good chance that she knows your name and story!)
These quotes I found today while enjoying my last day of ski break and thinking more about the topic. I know that I owe many thanks to people who have listened to me well over the years- you've helped me to unfold.

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