I stood listening to the six-year old as he went on and on about something. I really tried to be present.Even though I wasn’t really interested in what he was telling me, I wanted him to know that he’s important.
We don’t feel that most things that fill up a six-year old’s life are that important, do we? Games, friends, school,teachers, puppy dogs–these don’t usually shake the foundations of the world.
Though some kids do face adult crises, that’s more an analomy, not the rule. So, stories of video games, and what his friend did seem to go on eternally,taxing our ability to listen.
“And you see, there was this duck and everytime the mean man would try to get the little boy, the duck would sneak up and peck him on the bottom. Then finally, the bad guy caught the little boy but the little boy’s puppy came up and stole his keys and he threw down the boy to run after the doggy with his keys. Then the little boy sneaked up on the man because he had caught the dog and …and … and …”
This will go on as long as you stand there.
Now, my world is an adult world filled with important things–whether my football team won, what I’m going to eat for lunch, what so-and-so said about me. Yes, there are some serious things. But, mostly just daily stuff. Who’s to say that my world is more important than the little fellow’s, just because I’m older?
And other people? How about their world? My co-worker’s sad story doesn’t usually interest me that much unless it intersects my world.
Want to love others? Lend a listening ear to what they are saying, what they’re feeling. An important part of loving others is listening to them, getting into their world to understand what makes them tick.
Once when I was trying to watch an incredibly important ballgame (I don’t remember who was playing), my wife tried to talk to me about something in her world. Whatever it was, it didn’t seem that world-shaking compared to the fate of the Dallas Cowboys (or whoever I was watching). It irritated me a bit.
But, was I loving her? And is what’s going on in my little world that’s really that much more important than what’s going on in yours? Or in that six-year old’s?
Let’s visit each other’s world. We might really learn something and be enriched. God reaches down to touch us and the one speaking to us when we listen–because we love Him and them.
“Be kind and compassionate to one another…” Ephesians 4:32 (NIV)
If you’re short on passion, it might be because your goals are too small or the fear is too big. Seth Godin
“Confidence is the feeling you have before you really understand the problem”