Listening seems like an art these days. A fine art at that. So many people seem to be talking so much (might it be to avoid having any quiet?) and doing very little listening. Others are listening—but always with their minds racing ahead to what they'll say as soon as the conversation lags. So when you find a person who listens, and listens deeply, that person is a real treasure.
I love what the Dalai Lama says about listening: "When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new."
At times, no doubt we've all been guilty of talking too much—or of preparing our next comments while simultaneously "listening" to someone else.
I try to remind myself, however, of what a gift we give when we listen to another. Think of how you feel when someone is concentrating intently on what you're saying. Don't you feel hugged, affirmed and loved? Yes, I do, too.
So not only is listening a gift we give others—but in the process, we stand to learn new things. It sounds like win-win to me.