You never know where scanning on social media will take you. Recently, I saw a post from a Patient Advocate colleague Lori Schellenberg that caught my eye. Her post said – the willingness to listen is the biggest and most important action we can take! I clicked on a link that took me to a Facebook Page; English Literature & Linguistics. The link shared a story about Viktor Frankl. Frankl is one of the great psychiatrists of the twentieth century. Frankl survived the death camps of Nazi Germany. He wrote Man’s Search for Meaning, one of those life-changing books everyone should read. The passage he wrote reminded me never to underestimate the power of listening.
Here is the passage:
“A woman called him in the middle of the night to calmly inform him she was about to commit suicide. Frankl kept her on the phone and talked her through her depression, giving her reason after reason to carry on living. Finally, she promised she would not take her life, and she kept her word.
When they later met, Frankl asked which reason had persuaded her to live.
“None of them,” she told him. What then influenced her to go on living, he pressed.
Her answer was simple; it was Frankl’s willingness to listen to her in the middle of the night. A world in which there was someone ready to listen to another’s pain seemed to her a world in which it was worthwhile to live.
Often, there are more brilliant arguments that make the difference, but many times it is the small act of listening that is the greatest gift we can give.”
The story made me more aware of the power of listening and reminded me that I must be more mindful of the power of listening.
I hope everyone reading this post will realize how important listening is. And how doing so can make a difference in someone’s life because you took the time to listen.
Thanks for reading this post. Have a good week!