I have had the opportunity to listen to many individuals throughout my career, in fact I still enjoy that privilege today. I think of it as a privilege because whenever someone develop enough courage and make the decision to open the contents of their lives to me, I consider that almost a scared trust.
The truth is people need people. In a previous blog post ‘No man is an island’ I talked about the need for support and the importance of accessing support. Since that post, I have met many lay persons involved with working with others in many different spheres. I was both interested and horrified by the attitude of some who had no interest in listening to the problems that people are facing. However, there are also those who would like to listen but is unsure of the skills involved. Some battle with cultural and religious opinions about sharing their problems or indeed listening to others talk about their struggles.
I was concerned by this, in working with people we will invariably encounter individuals who are broken and need to talk and who would like someone to listen. The crucial thing to remember is, whenever someone builds up enough courage to talk they are not necessarily looking for solutions from you, they are needing someone to care enough to listen and thought you might be that person.
I felt encouraged to write a series of blog post on ‘listening to others’. If you are a brother, sister, friend, a pastoral care worker or involved in ministry and want to learn more about how to listen, subscribe to this blog and look out for the series of post every Wednesday on ‘listening to others’.