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Generosity

by Adam Zack — January 12, 2022

Adam

Listening is another word for giving your attention to someone.

“Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.”

― Simone Weil

I saw this quote this week and it grabbed my attention and got me thinking. We talk constantly (although not incessantly, as that term seems tedious and nagging) about how important and difficult it is to really listen. To listen closely, pay attention and not jump forward to your anticipated response or conclusion of what the person is telling you. So when I saw this quote (in the movie The Lost Daughter) I was moved enough to think that listening is another word for giving your attention to someone. Your full attention without distractions, without multitasking and with full eye contact. People are constantly seeking your attention. Kids, employees, salespeople, advertisers – pretty much everyone wants your attention. It’s coveted and valuable. Giving that attention, especially since it is a limited commodity, is a gift you give others. Not that any of us are some almighty important ruler that doles out our attention by the spoonful as if we are some kind of aristocrat. Our attention is sought by others as a way to improve themselves or solve a problem. I remember sitting across from someone and telling him some very important information about the team morale in his company. He did not even look me in the eye as I conveyed the information I had and offered solutions on solving the problem. I thought “This guy doesn’t give a $#@!. I’ve wasted a whole day on this. He can’t even give me half his attention.” It reminded me that the opposite of generous is selfish.

Read More – Just Say No

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