Our culture is obsessed with self. In our schedules. In our relationships. And especially online. We post pictures—of what we are eating, where we are going, what we are doing. At every turn we seem to care most about one thing—“What’s in it for me?” We are saturated with self, almost to the point where it begins to seem normal. But in the midst of all of this near-narcissism, people are less content materially and unhappier emotionally than they were in decades past. Why?
Because we have forgotten the joy that comes from putting others first.
So many of the old-fashioned virtues appear to have disappeared over the years. Holding the door open for someone. Saying, “No, after you” not only with our words but also with our actions. Looking out for others. Giving a helping hand. Such other-centered behaviors are scarce these days.
Becoming a person who thinks about others first will take effort on our part. It requires us to live alert, to be on the lookout in conversations with others for what I call “heart drops,” hints of what kindness we might grant to them. And also to notice those in our lives who might need a helping hand, a generous dose of encouragement or a loving gesture done for them—with no expectation of a return favor, no strings attached. Such a perspective on living can lift our own spirits enabling us to embark upon a journey that in blessing others blesses us even more.
Listen, Love, Repeat gives encouragement and ideas for reaching out to others with both planned and random acts of kindness. Some are heart-tugging and sentimental. Others are sneaky and hilarious. Many anchor stories provide a backdrop for the chapters and offer an incentive to the reader to live alert. Topics include loving your family and friends, encouraging coworkers, reaching out to the lonely, blessing the “necessary people” who help you get life done every day but often go unnoticed, and many others who could use an act of thoughtfulness. Modeling for our children a lifestyle that listens and loves will also be a focus with doable ideas for families included. And back matter bonus material will include creative gift ideas and simple recipes for sharing love with others.
Additionally, this inspiring and practical book explores scriptural examples of those who lived alert, including Jesus—the one who noticed those who least expected to be noticed. It will inspire others to live alert and to realize that in order to find joy in life, we must learn to stop focusing on ourselves. Instead, we can use our resources, time, and efforts to better the lives of those with whom our paths naturally cross.