Welcome to “Athlos” a weekly blog which examines pillars of personal excellence and regularly brings together the worlds of Christian spirituality and sport.
“Listening is foundational to what it means to be human”-The Listening Life, Adam Mc Hugh
Burying my father recently has provided meaningful opportunities for reflection. My thoughts have led me to ponder the meaning of life, what really matters, the value of family and the complexity of human relationships. In addition, I have found myself exploring the whole question of why listening is such a fundamental feature of our very existence.
Mom and dad taught me a lot. When I listened to their wise counsel, I grew. Ignoring them often led to avoidable problems. Today I begin a series of short articles sharing with you some of what I have been learning. It has been a rewarding time of study.
Consider the above excerpt from McHugh’s excellent book, The Listening Life. He describes listening as a core element of our humanity. In other words, we cannot truly live in this world if the gift of listening is absent.
Think about your most important relationships whether as a married person, an unmarried individual, an employee, a parent, a son or daughter, a sibling, a member of a sports team or a part of a spiritual community. Imagine if in those relationships, the other person or persons never listened to you. You try to express yourself, share an opinion or be transparent about a weakness. Yet, the listener just doesn’t allow you the freedom to speak. You are either judged, dismissed, or interrupted. This could shatter any broken soul.
To listen is to love. When we posture ourselves before a fellow human with a view to hearing their hearts or their hurts, we are acting in love. To listen is to change lives.
Please join me in the upcoming weeks in plumbing the depths of this life-changing skill called listening.
As we go through this mini-series, pay attention to how your character is formed and transformed by the art of listening.
If you were inspired by this blog, please consider sharing it with one other person today. To learn more about these and other related themes that promote the cultivation of an integrated inner self, read UNBEATABLE! which is available on Amazon in print and as an e-book.