This is our last day before holiday break.  You can almost hear the collective sigh throughout the building.  The holidays, Hanukah and Christmas bring with them the tradition of giving gifts to those we love.  I’ve been giving a lot of thought as to what is the most meaningful gift to another person and I’ve decided it has nothing to do with stuff.  It sounds good to say, “Love,” but that’s pretty vague and fluffy.  I’ve decided the most important thing I can give others is my attention.

I waqs on a walk with my wife the other day and my mind was drifting off from what she was saying.  After my first inappropriate question, she got irritated.  After my second dumb question, she stopped and roasted me.  After my third question when I asked about material she’d already covered, I aasked if maybe we could change the subject and we could get a fresh start.

The point of telling you this story is even though I hate it when people don’t pay attention to what I’m saying, I’m guilty of the same thing myself. Ouch!

What does it say to someone when you look them right in the eye when they’re talking to you?  It says they’re important.  It says that their experiences and opinions are valuable.  It says they are worthwhile friends.  Simply put by Depak Chokra, “If you want to get something, give it.”  If you want people to pay attention to you, pay attention to them.  There’s an African proverb that says, “God gives nothing to those who keep their arms crossed.”

This holiday season, open your arms, your hearts, your eyes and your ears.  Then when the holiday season is over, you’ll be in the habit of giving the most precious of gifts to those you care about—your attention.