The Gift of Listening

"There is so much I would like to know about you that I am not sure how I can find enough time. That is another one of those drawbacks that come with old age. I plan to try anyway."

A new friend of mine said that to me in an email the other day. It captured my complete attention. I don't ever remember feeling quite the way I did when I read those words. The genuine curiosity, the willingness to listen to my life, to really care about my life, was spectacularly awesome for me. I still smile when I think about it.
How often do we "do time" while listening, just waiting for an opportunity to speak? And do we really pay attention, or does our mind start wandering over to our daily "to do" list?
What would it feel like if everyone in our lives were avidly curious about our experiences, thoughts and feelings? What kind of connection could we feel?
I have a feeling a lot of numbing agents would no longer be needed. I think we often use food, drugs, work, alcohol, among other things, to quiet our feeling of being all alone in the world. What if just by learning to listen with our whole heart and paying close attention, we could dramatically reduce the loneliness quotient in our world?

As an experiment, would you be willing to find someone who really fascinates you....and let him or her know? Would you be willing to really listen with your whole attention and heart...and then let me know what happens?

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