Just for one day:
1 Listen to your child … with all of you. Rather than thinking of what to tell him, listen to what he is telling you. Listen patiently to the end, until he has emptied his heart. Encourage him, looking directly into his eyes, with “I see,” “Um-hum,” “Is that right?” “And then what?” Listen, and savor the joy of having this child.
2 Listen to your spouse … with all of you. Not while pondering a business problem or tonight’s dinner or what is wrong. Look into his/her face, see the beauty there, cherish the expression, the eyes, the mouth; feel the care, the concerns. Listen with understanding and love. Listen.
3 Listen to your parents … with all of you. Listen to their direction, their counsel, their remembrances and reflections. Listen to the wonder of their age, and respect and honor them. Listen to them. It is your sweetest gift.
4 Listen to a friend … with all of you. Listen to his worries and his frustrations, to his thoughts and joys. Feel with him, ache with him, be excited with him. Be the receptacle for his pent-up emotions. Just listen.
5 Listen to an introduction … with all of you. Hear the name and say it over aloud, then turn it over in your mind. Heed what is said about him and by him. Ask honest questions of him and care about the answers. Look at his face, his features. You may meet again, and if you can call him by name, you will have lifted his soul.
6 Listen to a conversation … with all of you. Be more anxious to hear than to tell. Resist interrupting. Rejoice in the good thinking of others, provoke them to worthwhile ideas. A lively conversation requires a totally involved listener.
7 Listen to a sermon … with all of you. Absorb, analyze, evaluate, extract, develop, enjoy, remember, appreciate.
8 Listen to the Lord … with all of you. Stay on your knees a little longer, listening. Pause in the day, listening. Be sensitive to every divine impression, to every noble feeling, to every worthy idea. Listen and learn what he has in mind for you. Listen to the Lord … with all of you.
For one day, listen, listen, listen. It may be an exercise worth repeating.