Giving Your Full Attention

This afternoon, a friend tells me about a seminar she attended.  She describes the teacher as someone who “gave his full attention to each person.” 

It seemed incredible–his focus, his intensity–that he could give to a person asking him a question.  Remarkable in his love and concern, this teacher left the kind of impression my friend had to describe to me.  Every person held his interest.  Every person was important enough for his full attention.     

Later, my husband wants to discuss a decision we need to make.  I’m fiddling with a camera, thinking about vacuuming, considering blogging about making sushi with my daughter, worrying about brushing my cats enough, planning my syllabus in my head, missing the Italian Mama, craving chocolate. . .

“May I please have your full attention?”

I sit down, look into his eyes, listen to his words, notice his hand gestures, consider his intonations.  For once, I zero-in with my full attention.  Everything else can wait.

I realize that when I withhold my full attention, I communicate to others that I don’t find them important, interesting, or worthy.  How arrogant!  How self-focused!  I want to offer my full attention.  Everything else can wait.

Journal:  Who needs your full attention?