MISS MOOX + time


What is it with us humans? Bored and restless with another's narrative, our minds wandering to what we will have for lunch, our last conversation, did I pay the car insurance bill; yet endlessly entranced with our own, and feeling that they should be, too. We switch on like a light when it is our turn to talk, all-too-often burrow back into our daydreams when it is the other's. Deep empathetic listening, genuine immersion in another's situation, patient reaching out in the conviction that for the moment, another's feelings are more important than our own—that requires effort. And cultivation.

Though sometimes the effort is not so hard. In the first stages of flushed love, every confidence the lover breathes is deemed fascinating. The higher the worth of the person to you, the easier, no, the more instinctual and desirable it becomes to catch every drift of their thought process, shared with you. Though this, too, is not always the case: how many times do wives wistfully complain their husbands are not listening?

True listening is an art, developed well and over time: the setting aside of one's own needs and wants to prioritize the other's. To bring everything you have and are to the service of whatever is happening in their life and whatever is important to them at the time. It requires a stone-worn-smooth maturity, an unselfishness, a care. It's rare, and valuable, and when you encounter it, you feel as if you've been given a gift. It's a gift increasingly precious in an intimacy-devoid society, where conversations normally consist of each person fighting to make his or her voice heard.

Because it's so rare, and so valuable, it's a gift I've sought to hone, seek to give to anyone I come across. There are few: two, really, only, who give it to me. And I treasure them for it.

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Relevant to: Attention + time