I’m not always a good listener. But I know how important it is to listen. So I felt a little better about my shortcomings when I heard David Isay, the founder of StoryCorps and the person who has said that “listening is an act of love,” confess that other than when interviewing people, he can be a really terrible listener. He’s impatient. (I can relate). Listening takes a lot of focus and energy, and all of us have our moments. In the interview, it was noted that listening is not something that we do all the time. It’s work. It’s a commitment. But we want to make room for listening. And as David Isay said, “It’s something you never regret.”
He also told a story that I want to pass along, in honor of Mother Theresa, who was recently named a saint by Pope Francis. Isay said,
“I don’t know if this is an apocryphal story or not, but there’s a story about Dan Rather interviewing Mother Theresa. And he asked her what she said during her prayers. And she said, ‘I listen.’ And, Rather then said, ‘Well, then, what does God say to you?’ And she said, ‘He listens.’”
If listening is good enough for Mother Theresa and God, then perhaps I need to work harder.
More to come…