Listening is Loving

Stop. And take a moment to think:

When was the last time you paused to ask someone how they are doing and didn’t settle for a response of “good” or “busy?” Can you remember when you have asked a stranger or acquaintance to share something about themselves and have engaged in authentic listening and meaningful conversation?

As college students, it is common to feel lost in a large sea full bustling fish or bogged down by the to-do list that seems to never shrink and only grow. But this overwhelming sense is not a direct result of our surroundings or circumstances, but our mindset and choices.

Perhaps in our busyness and striving of success, we have forgotten the importance of personal connection and authentic relationships. The truth of the matter is this: the more self-consumed we are, the more miserable we become.

This could all change if we started to “be” instead of “do.” Our worlds would be transformed if we started to try to see ourselves and people as who we are–human beings. Beings who are unique, important, valued, and have something to share with the world.

How can this be done in a society so full of schedules and deadlines? It’s simple. Making personal connections and forming authentic relationships looks like making eye contact with the person you’re passing by on the sidewalk and offering a simple smile with an accompanying “hello.” Or it could be asking someone how they are really doing and taking the time to listen and care.

“Being heard is so close to being loved that for the average person, they are almost indistinguishable.”

-David Augsburger

Making a difference doesn’t require us to make an enormous sacrifice or lifestyle change, but it simply takes intentionally engaging with others within everyday tasks and routines.

So, take a risk today and try it. The results might just surprise you… for in the process of making other people’s days, your day will be made as well.

-Rebekah Broughton

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