Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Just Listen!

I've wanted to share a passage that I've read from my book way back in college entitle The Mustard Seed.

We are great talkers, but most of us are not very good listeners. We always want to tell everybody about what we have done and about all our problems, but we are not too ready to listen to someone else's stories or problems. And here's the passage that I would like to share:

"When I ask you to listen to me and you start giving me a lot of advice, you are not doing what i asked you to do. I just wanted you to listen! When I ask you to please listen to me and you begin to tell me why I shouldn't feel that way and why I shouldn't be upset, you are really not paying attention to me. When I ask you to listen to me, and you feel that you have to do something right away to solve my problem, you have failed me, strange as that may seem. Listen! All I asked you to do was listen, not talk or do anything to help me. Just listen. Advice is cheap.You can find advice columns in all the newspapers. But I don't need advice. I can do it myself. I just need someone to listen to me for awhile, while I straighten out the confusion in my mind. I'm not helpless. Maybe I am discouraged or depressed or faltering, but I'm not helpless. When you do something for me that I really ought to do for myself, you are only adding t my insecurity and my fear and inadequacy. But when you accept, as a simple fact, that I just need to talk, then I can quit trying to convince you and get about the business of trying to understands what is happening to me and inside me. And when I talk and you just listen, the answers become clearer for me, my irrational feelings begin to make sense, and begin to understand what is behind them all. So, please, just listen to me for awhile, and then if you want to talk, I'll listen to you."

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