The story is told of Franklin Roosevelt, who often endured long receiving lines at the White House. He complained that no one really paid any attention to what was said.
One day, during a reception, he decided to try an experiment. To each person who came down the line and shook his hand, he murmured, "I murdered my grandmother this morning." The guests responded with phrases like, "Marvelous! Keep up the good work. We are proud of you. God bless you, sir."
It was not until the end of the line, while greeting the ambassador from Bolivia, that his words were actually heard. Not quite knowing what to say, the ambassador leaned over and whispered, "I'm sure she had it coming."
How many times have you ever heard someone say, "Nobody ever listens to me!"? And how many people go through life frustrated because there truly is nobody who will take the time to really listen to what they have to say? Everybody wants to talk, but so few want to listen!
Benjamin Franklin once said, "A pair of good ears will drink dry a hundred tongues."
The Bible has much to say about the value of listening. Take to heart this instruction: "Let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath" (James 1:19).
May I encourage you today to put down the newspaper, turn off the television set, and take the time and effort to listen to those around you. It will show that you care, and who knows, you might even learn something in the process!