In Pirke Abot, Shammai says that we should always greet people with a
pleasant countenance. We may not realize it but what the great sage is
suggesting is that we always show another that we care about him or her.
It's not what you say but how you say it that can communicate this
all-important message to another.
The fact of the matter is it also applies to listening when another is
speaking. How often a person tries to tell another something that is so
important to the speaker and yet he or she gets the feeling that the friend
is not even listening. All it really takes is a little eye contact, a well
placed facial expression or a well-timed inquiry or comment to give the
speaker the assurance that his or her life --it's ups and downs-- matter to
you --because the person who is speaking matters to you.
G-d made people need attention as badly as plants need water. So when you
show someone that you care you are actually giving him or her the
necessities of life.
Today--when someone tries to tell you something and you are just too busy
and involved in your own little world to really care--stop! Remind yourself
that friendship and caring is what makes the world go round. It only takes
a minute and of all the gifts you could give someone--a very inexpensive
pause and a word to show that you care gives life itself.