LISTEN is such a little, ordinary word

LISTEN is such a little, ordinary word that it is easily passed over. Yet we all know the pain of not being listened to, of not being heard. In a way, not to be heard is not to exist. This can be the plight of the very young and the very old, the very sick, the "confused", and all too frequently, the dying -- literally no one in their lives has time or patience to listen. Or perhaps we lack courage to hear them.

We forget how intimate listening is, alive and fluid in its mutuality. It involves interaction even if no one moves a muscle and even if the listener says nothing. Vulnerability is shared when silence is shared.

~ from HOLY LISTENING by Margaret Guenther