2008/04/11 at 09:00

This is from Larry Vaughan, one of my favorite bloggers and someone I like to think of as an internet friend:

I have learned this lesson late in life. When I was young I thought that people who asked for my opinion actually wanted it. I would dig deep into my cerebellum and deliver (sometimes eloquently) my verdict. I’m laughing right now at the folly of it all. This is why most people have never followed my advice; they didn’t want it in the first place.
My new friend has reminded me of the power of attending. The only thing he wants; in fact, the only thing he needs, is to be heard. Not understood. Understanding would be nice, but at this point it’s just the icing on the cake. In telling his story he shares his life. Now two people carry the load.
No advice. No comprehension. Just listening. Not understanding. Not empathy. Just listening. Followed by change.

Side note: As I was preparing this post, I realized I didn’t have a category for this post. Usually when this happens, I just create a new one and make the post the first entry in this category. In this case, however, I couldn’t really think of a good pigeon hole for this post. Interesting.