One of the most important yet least used character traits tends to be listening. Have you been in one of those conversations where your mind is more on other things and you smile and nod as the person continues with their story? Unfortunately, I think everyone has been in that position at least once in life and if your like me it happens more often than it should. What is truly interesting is that when you do stop day dreaming and mind wandering and just listen to what someone is talking about you may just enjoy the conversation more than you realize.
We spent time today walking the downtown area of the city, we shared an extra bag lunch with a person in need on the street and we talked while we ate. We heard stories about the difficult times our lunch buddy had suffered through and the warmth he felt about his daughter that he hadn’t seen in quite sometime. We were together out on the sidewalk eating and talking for about 30-45 minutes and we learned where he had worked, how long he had been in the city and how long he had been living on the streets. We heard about his broken relationships and the difficult battle with addiction. Really the stories he told were not much different than many other people…yet society has treated him differently than others…why…my guess is society, myself included, has already judged his worth. Don’t misunderstand me, I realize that every person has responsibility for decisions they make and the things they choose to do but I also know that sometimes people may need at least one other person to help them get started on a more positive path.
With free will there always will be bad things happening in the world…we’re human we just can’t help ourselves. However, with free will we all can choose whether or not we are willing to stop…look… and listen to others in the world around us. Every person has value and some people just need a bit more help than others finding their place.
May God’s peace be with you.