Confession: I was a telemarketer for a few years back in high school. Don’t hate me! It was that (in air conditioning) or flipping burgers in a hot kitchen. I wasn’t a great employee I suppose–I always ended up chit-chatting with the people rather than selling the product. But I learned a few things from it:
Many of the people who I spoke at length with were elderly folks who, for whatever reason, were home alone most of the time. They wanted to share and talk and have a lively conversation with someone. I was happy to talk with them too–I learned a lot from their stories.
Looking back, I always wish I would have listened better to stories my older family members told. I would have asked more questions too. But I am changing that now when I talk with others. Everyone (not just our older family and friends) needs someone to listen to them, someone to relate to. And when we are capable of giving that gift, we should do it (there are times when we can’t put ourselves out there–and that is okay).
Imagine what we might learn from a stranger, or an old friend. What kinds of new conversations it would bring! I wonder how dulling romantic relationships might become re-energized with these kinds of discoveries, all from just listening and sharing things we assume the other might have known. My mom’s feet would still hurt her if she hadn’t shared it with my aunt, who then told Mom that her arches were probably falling. It’s amazing what we discover, and how we benefit, when we share.
So, take the time to share. Take the time to listen. Take the time to gain a new perspective. Make the time to refresh old and worn out assumptions. It’ll do wonders. Sometimes people need to talk, and we all need to be willing to listen. One day, it could be the other way around… better have some good karma coming our way.
© Be Nice. Creator and Be Nice. (somethingsonice.wordpress.com), 2008-2009.