Culture | Community

Lending an Ear

Every tree, every growing thing as it grows,
says this truth, You harvest what you sow.
With life as short as a half-taken breath,
do not plant anything but love.
— Rumi, Every Tree

I had lunch with a man of Ukrainian descent. He spoke with love for his old home, before he came to America, before he raised his family and built his life removed from his origins. We spoke about his country, about what might come to be. He spoke about bringing his daughter there for summer vacation. “I suppose we’ll have to put that off a year.” He said.

We dance along in life, oblivious to the stoic pain of those around us. It’s easy to get wrapped around the pole with our own problems, for they nag at us incessantly if we let them run free. No doubt, we all ought to get our own houses in order. But the easiest way to forget about ourselves is to focus on others. To lend an ear. To help those in need. We all need a bit more love and understanding, don’t you think?

The world keeps tapping me on the shoulder, asking me to listen. For a long time I wouldn’t give it the time of day, so absorbed in my own life as I was. But now I hear it’s cry for help.

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