According to NPR, the day after Thanksgiving is the National Day Of Listening. The concept stems from their highly successful StoryCorps Program, and the theory is that the most important way to honor someone is to listen to him/her. To hear a story with full attention, so intent that you could integrate it into a memory worth saving. Listening with your mind free of anticipated responses, shopping lists, wandering thoughts – can you quantify the value of such a gift? Can you imagine how much it would be appreciated?
Ask someone to tell you a story. If you are indulging in some quiet after the deluge of family and friends, listen to the silence. It too has a tale to tell. Our stories matter, they are our perspectives of personal history and seminal moments, unfettered joy and unhealed wounds. They define us far more than adjectives. They shape us far more than any exercise regimen (which is not a knock on exercise). Yet, when was the last time you heard a tale? And, what would be the story you would tell?
To me, that is where the wonder of this season is – in the giving of one’s heart while lending an ear. And in being awed by the gift we’re given every time we listen. Happy Friday everybody.