My Life with God

Listen Better

photo-1495968283540-e1df41995ba6Yesterday I wrote about the man on the airport shuttle with the enormous piece of luggage. Perhaps the theme this week is luggage, because a couple more luggage stories stand out to me from my recent trip.

I was in an early boarding group, so I was settled into my seat as others streamed onto the plane and looked for a seat as well as bin space for their bags. As the last group boarded, the flight attendant announced (again) it was a full flight. If anyone had a smaller bag in the overhead bins, please move them under the seats to allow room for the larger bags people were bringing onto the plane.

And while she gave those directions, I watched two people cram their small backpacks into the overhead bins. Maybe they were oblivious to the announcement, but I didn’t see headphones in their ears. I’m pretty sure they had selective hearing and self-focused behavior.

I didn’t judge too harshly because (1) I don’t think a larger bag would have fit in those particular bins anyway, even without their smaller bags and (2) I know the desperate feeling of wanting my bags to be close to me in the plane.

Instead, I thought about how often I don’t listen to what’s being said around me. Perhaps it’s instruction I ignore or sharing I don’t carefully listen to. Whatever it is, it’s disrespectful. We’ve all been-there-done-that when we think about not being listened to, but how intentionally do we listen to others? How humble are we when we listen to others? Do we listen for what we want to hear? Do we rationalize and explain ourselves? Do we compare? Do we tell the story that one-ups another?

Listen well today. Respond well today.

It’s important, not just for respecting others but for your own humility.

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