Thich Nhat Hanh
One the greatest gifts we can give is our presence...in our families, at our place of work, in our community, to our friends and partners. Sometimes that's the BEST thing another can give. It's better than any material gift. I've been humming "The best things in life are free" today.
For another to sit with you, give their undivided attention, caring and time is invaluable. To truly be present for others is difficult at times and perhaps becoming more and more scarce these days. When a family member calls rather than emails or texts and genuinely wants to hear how you are....how special is that? And what a comfort to sit across the table from an amazing friend who looks you steadily in the eye and hears every word you're saying.
A dear friend was over the other night and, although, I have always known her to be a spectacular friend it became clear to me why that is. She is a devoted health care professional and perhaps listening either came naturally to her or she learned her craft well, but she possesses the rare ability to be still and listen deeply and when appropriate ask just the right questions. I consider her one of the wisest people I know and depend on her to be present for me, listen carefully and then comment or ask the perfect question. She also is plain old great fun to be with, she laughs easily and often.
We're all busy and can be distracted easily but it's terribly important to give that little bit of ourselves and our time, willingly and unconditionally to others. The ultimate gift...your presence.