We are known today for swiftness of communication. Thanks to social media, there is instant connection with those with whom we wish to keep contact. Text messages are brief and to the point. Presumably the receiver can fill in the context and, as it were, ‘read between the lines.’ Deeper sharing can’t be rushed and cryptic. It requires the face-to-face leisure of saying more, caring for the speaker, moving past mere information to what usually gets left unsaid. Engaging another in meaningful conversation is worth one’s time. It conveys the value of the speaker and values what is being said. There is satisfaction for the speaker when invited to be transparent before a trustworthy listener. It is also an honor for the listener to hear the important concerns, desires, and plans of another. The rush of our lives sometimes just needs to be halted so as not to miss these precious exchanges.
By Ruth Feeney, OSB