In this documentary, we ask why it is that the wealthiest Americans live as many as fifteen years longer than the poorest. It’s a troubling question at a time when income inequality has reached levels not seen since the run up to the Great Depression. Nationwide – even with more people covered through the Affordable Care Act – nearly 30 million Americans remain without health insurance. And medical problems that go undiagnosed and untreated often get worse.
This episode considers the need to carve out an experience of silence in our own lives – as a basis for attentively listening to others. But actually setting aside quiet time can be hard can be hard for many of us. It may feel uncomfortable at times and we’re susceptible to distractions, especially amid all the electronic communication coming at us. Our attention can be diverted, even when we have a sincere intention to listen compassionately to another.
There’s a kind of mystery in sitting calmly, patiently, attentively and tuning into someone else’s personal story – their experience and life journey.
In this segment, we hear the insights of people who, in a sense, listen for a living: physicians, counselors, clergy and others. What does it mean to set aside one’s own agenda and truly focus on another person, perhaps someone who is suffering?