[Image credit: Danilo Rizzuti]

Slow down.  Listen.  I don’t do either very well, but I’m trying.  Oftentimes, I’m in my own little world as I go about my day, my mind focused on what’s next, the pleasantries rote.  But I’m learning it takes little extra time to find out my favorite checker at the grocery store is spending the weekend with her brother who had been abroad for three weeks — and that his apartment smells like feet.  And then there’s the older gentleman in my office suite who seemed pleasantly surprised when I greeted him and joined in his commentary about the weather.  The best time for me to slow down and listen is when my daughter joins me.  Whatever I’m in the middle of, I try to focus my attention on her.  She knows she’s valued, and that what she says is important.  Maybe I’m the only person to lend an ear to others today.

Do you rush through the day or slow down … and listen?