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18 March 2014

40 days of giving back, day nine: listen, carefully.

I like to pride myself on being a good listener, so for last Friday's task, I wasn't really worried. The real question was who I could be a good listener for. My shortcomings when it comes to speaking on the phone are well documented - see the link for Day Four below - but I'm really at my best in person. Except that a lot of days, I don't really get out of the house very much, since I work from home. So where oh where would I find a person to really listen carefully to? [I know, I know. these are some serious problems]

Last Friday I traveled to DC to visit friends. The primary reason for my trip was to spend some time with my friend Shalini before she moves to Paris at the end of May, but there is no end to the number of friends in and around the District. Since Shalini works late, and I arrived just around noon, I arranged to meet Dylan Perry and hang out with him until she could join us. In the process, she had to stay even later than originally planned, so it gave the Dubz and myself a long time to chat and catch up, and it gave me the opportunity to learn more about his job and the work that he's been doing [he's the Associate Director for the Lasallian Volunteers]. This was only the second time I've gotten to see Dylan in person since he began working, and the last time we met was just after The Wandering Samaritan had launched, so that meal was spent with him asking me a bunch of questions. This time, I got to return the favour, and it was nice to hear about the work he's been doing and to hear his passion for his current role.

Being an active listener can be challenging at times, but it's also something we owe to those who are important in our lives. There will always be times when we want others to listen, but first we must show them the same courtesy. And when that day comes and we need someone to listen, they'll remember and return the favour.

So go forth and be a good listener for someone else today.

Previous Tasks:
Day One - Start a Journal
Day Two - Create a Generosity Jar
Day Three - Tool Up
Day Four - Connect
Day Five - An Attitude of Gratitude
Day Six - Reach
Day Seven - Redial
Day Eight - o.t.t.

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