What can you dispense with?
January 9, 2018

“Being sixty means your long-term goals are now short-term.” I heard Steve Martin tell David Letterman that when I wasn’t even fifty, but it still rang true. Even then I could see one advantage of growing older, more of a reverence for time -- as Michael Levine would say -- and less willingness to waste it.

I used to try to hold the attention of people who were stingy with it. One person in particular comes to mind, who’d recite “uh-huh, uh-huh” -- with a complete lack of anything on her face -- when I shared the occasional story. Maybe I relished the challenge. Not anymore!

You can’t always avoid people who don’t pay attention. But you can save your breath and practice deep listening yourself. Everybody wins.