I have had a lot of jobs. I’ve loved a few of them. But none of them have compared to where I work now. On Fridays at 4pm, we stop working, grab a beer out of the fridge and a plate of snacks and head into our unfinished ping pong area. We play or watch ping pong. We take it very seriously. And we sit around and talk. Sometimes about work, sometimes just about ourselves.
This Friday night, one employee ran to Bag N Save and grabbed two bottles of scotch. Five of us stayed until 10pm, talking about life and what is important in it. The reason our dynamic at work works so well is because we respect each other. We all do our best at our jobs and work together. When someone talks, the rest of us listen. It is in listening that you can see outside of yourself.
We are all so consumed with ourselves – usually only politely acting like we’re listening when we’re really thinking up what we’re going to say next. Everyone wants to talk about himself. Everyone wants to be understood, but no one seems to want to understand anyone else. We are selfish creatures, yet we all want to make an impact on others before we die. Maybe to make an impact, we should listen once in awhile.
I left at 10pm on Friday, walked into the cool end-of-summer breeze. I stopped at my car before getting in. I felt the peace that you can only notice when you’re not talking. I heard the cicadas singing their summer song. I am grateful that I have people who listen to me. I am grateful I know people I actually want to listen to.
One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.
~ Bryant H. McGill
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