You are a great listener. You pay attention to the sounds around you, which is no small thing in today’s world, and you absorb it all. In times like these, listening in this way is an increasingly difficult thing to do. There is so much noise out there, and so few are slowing down. You know how it feels to be around someone who speaks nonstop but doesn’t seem to care what we have to say. It leaves us feeling ignored, or that we don’t matter. Finding people who are “slow to speak and quick to listen” [James 1:19] is quite rare. Yet you manage it, and it’s no surprise your friends share things with you they don’t tell anyone else. Listening shows you care about them, and everyone wants to feel cared for.
As you grow older, remaining a good listener becomes increasingly challenging for several reasons:
- You accumulate knowledge as you age, and you know more about more. Be careful not to let it get to your head. Nobody likes a know-it-all.
- You get busy, taking on more and more responsibility with an ever-expanding to-do list. This tends to make slowing down and listening harder.
- There are more distractions: things going on inside your mind or heart, or in your environment that compete for your attention and make it more difficult to truly listen to the people.