Think of an apple. If an apple is not eaten and used to fulfill it's purpose (provide nutrients for the human body) it begins to rot and decay, leaving it nasty and useless. This is how I feel my "listening ears" have become. I have realized this week that I am an awful listener. Most of the time when someone is talking to me, I'm thinking about the next thing I'm going to say. How rude! Our ears are supposed to be used for listening to others and learning about others' needs, wants, experiences. If I'm so focused on me, how can I ever truly sympathize with someone, relate to someone, hear someone. Maybe it's not even me thinking about myself, but being concerned with my cellphone, the Internet, or someone else. I know if the tables were swapped and I was the one being treated like this, I would feel very inadequate and unheard.
My newest challenge is to really listen- even to the point of sharing in others' joy and pain. I'm turning my listening ears on.