Have you ever had a listening, seeing person in your life?
Before you answer, let me describe what that really means.
Think of a movie that brings you to tears or a song that sweeps you back to your childhood. Ever wonder why that happens?
We often connect with art at an emotional level. A painting can’t be reduced to mere brush strokes or a book to text on a page. Works of creativity are not things we look at, but through. They’re a window to something richer and more meaningful than just the mechanics of the art itself.
That understanding of artistic beauty has a lot to do with how we relate to other people. When we listen intently to another person, we’re not focusing only on the outer aspects of that individual. We see beyond the surface and appreciate the person inside – their hurts, their fears, their dreams. When we connect with someone at that level, they’ll sense they’re valued.
Here’s how one man described the value of having a listening, seeing person in his life. As a boy, he was cared for by a friend after his mother died. He said: “Martha must have really loved me because she remembered everything I said. As a result, all my life I’ve had the feeling that what I think and what I say are worth remembering. Very few of us have had a listening, seeing person in our lives.”
That last comment troubles me because I believe it’s true. Very few people have ever had a person listen to us like that.
Benjamin Mathes discovered the value of truly hearing someone’s heart one day on the streets of Los Angeles when a homeless man asked him for money. Benjamin’s pockets were empty, too, but he could offer some time. He asked if he could sit with the man and listen to his story.
The encounter made such an impact on both of them Benjamin decided to broaden the experience. He stood on a street corner with a sign that read, “Free Listening,” and waited to see what would happen.
To Benjamin’s surprise, people came right up to him, and he witnessed the gift of listening.
When he shared his experience with his friends, Urban Confessional was born. They all made signs and opened their hearts to anyone who needed to laugh, cry, or to share a burden they had carried for too long. That small community has now grown across 6 continents, 13 countries, and 20 states.
See their inspiring story here:
What about us? We may not stand on a corner with a cardboard sign, but we can open our ears and our hearts to the people around us. Let’s not miss the opportunity.
And don’t forget, if you’re facing a challenging time right now and you need someone to talk to, we’d love to listen to what you’d like to share. Give us a call at 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459).
I’d like to hear what you think. Have you ever had a listening, seeing person in your life? Whether your answer is yes or no, how has that impacted you?