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Stop. Look. Listen.

January 31, 2011

I got to spend last summer in the country of Uganda. One of the biggest things that I took away from that experience is the importance of the title of this post; and as you may have guessed, I am referring to people. (This will not be a rant) I think we Americans have, largely, lost the art of community. With incredible breakthroughs in technology (texting, smart phones, etc) and warp-speed lifestyles has come the downfall of real, sincere communication. I’m not going to be that guy who says, “Well over in Uganda they [insert positive element], so America should be like that too.” But one thing I realized about people in less-developed countries (Uganda as my example) is that they love to be with people. You just get the feeling that there is nothing else in the world that someone would want to be doing than to just be talking to you and spending time with you. If you have been in poorer countries, you probably know what I’m talking about. When I compare that to how I often live my life (in a rush, with a very event/time-oriented mentality) I think of how different Christ was. His life and example model such a different approach to relationships and people than mine. So I will continue to aim at stop, look, listen. Stop being too busy to be with people. Look people in the eye and engage with them. Listen to what they are saying, and don’t listen passively. I think this is what I am often missing in my relationships with people. And I always notice a difference when I actively slow down to really engage with people and try to love them in my listening and responding to them. If people really matter most, unplug, slow down, listen and love.

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