A while back, I had some really good news. It had been a long time since this had last happened, so I was pretty pumped. I ran into a former friend of mine at the post office, and greeted her warmly and shared my good news - I was sure she'd want my life's update. Well, she was polite, but that's about it. She left abruptly.
I pondered this all the way home. Was she mad at me? Did I say something wrong? Yeah, I did. I should have asked how she was doing. In my excitement about my news, I forgot that maybe she had news, too. I recalled times when people told me all the great things going on in their life, and my envy prevented me from sharing their joy. Maybe my friend has recently gotten some bad news that she needed to share, but didn't feel comfortable popping my bubble.
Then I remembered other times when my feelings were hurt by well-meaning friends. Do the friends even know how much they hurt me? Probably not. And I didn't, at the time, realize that I was probably hurting my friend at the post office. Only later did I think that it was even possible.
Next time I run into a friend or used-to-be friend, I'm going to be purposeful about talking less and listening more.
The world does not need someone to talk; it needs someone to listen.
To whom are you going to really listen today?