We are all so busy with the perpetual motion of our obligations and mega to-do lists that the thought of slowing down and deeply listening to someone, anyone, is down right painful. “I don’t have time for this” we tell ourselves. “Maybe later. Yes, maybe later.”
But it turns out we don’t have much without it. The “it” being the restorative experience that John Fox’s poem describes in his moving poem “When Someone Deeply Listens To You.”
It serves as a profound reminder to caregivers that in a society that quickly devalues and ignores the “old” among us there is a pressing need to offer deep listening to this vulnerable population that is starved for even the most basic form of recognition and appreciation.
While there much we cannot do, control or unwind for older adults, there is one thing well within in our grasp if we want it. We can offer them generous listening and a simple act of letting them know they have been seen, heard and appreciated. It proves to be a bidirectional act of compassion that back flows into our own dented cup life equally in need of a fresh dose of understanding and love..