I have spent years crafting strength-based respectful responses to others. Building on the ideas of Appreciative Inquiry, I relentlessly study what’s working, what gives energy and life to groups, what people are like when they’re at their best.
Now faced with the very challenging task of managing myself and juggling multiple disparate invitations, I find myself struggling to listen to myself as well as I do others. I am challenged to focus on my strengths, to take seriously my aspirations no matter how modest.
I know from decades of experience that if we listen keenly to people when they ask for what seems small, and take them seriously, they will be led to trust us with what matters most to them. I now find that I must listen to myself with the same exquisite precision I brought to others. Honoring the small longings on my road to fulfilling deeper hungers for purpose and meaning.
Making this a daily practice may be the most difficult challenge I’ve faced in some time.
My lesson is this: when we want to love and nurture there are no small things.