Saturday, February 12, 2011

Pause and Listen

From my book: Forget-Me-Not, Forget-Me-Never, Remember The Fun We Had Together

To Carrie-

If pleasures path you wish to see,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak of, of whom you speak,
And when, and how, and where.

Florence Gaynor
June 21, 1906

The other day, I snail mailed an old friend photographs from a Christmas luncheon. We had not seen each other in 14 years. Yesterday, she called me on the phone to thank me for the photographs.

My long time friend could have written and mailed a thank-you note, whipped off an E-mail of thanks, zoomed off a text message or an IM, sent a Facebook message, rattled off a Tweet, but no. She called. Sound old fashioned? Sound out of date? Sometimes simpler is better.

Hearing the voice of a friend may seem out of date to some. Hearing tone. Listening to the silences. Picking up the spoken and unspoken, unwritten vibes. Hearing, listening. What's the difference?

In listening we learn so much more than in writing, or in talking. True listening means not having anything to say saved up in your mind in response until the other person finishes speaking.

So, the next time a friend takes time to call, just pause and listen.

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