It costs nothing, yet there is nothing more valuable than looking into people's eyes as you talk to them. Really listening to people as they share their story. Thoughtfulness and presence. They cost nothing and yet no money in all the world can replace their value. To make someone feel like they are heard and felt, well, I think that stuff saves lives....truly.
How often have you been ignored when you were telling someone about a significant moment, at least significant to you? You notice the other person's eyes glaze over, after a few seconds. How does this make you feel? You may feel as though what you are saying, or perhaps YOU, are less important than you would have thought. It is not a nice feeling to be minimized in such a manner.
Whatever someone's story, whatever they have to say, if they are choosing to say it to you; give them your full attention. You don't know exactly how someone is feeling, how deep the pain. By simply focusing on them alone, could be the turning point in their lives.
This consideration needs to start with young children. How many times does a child have to call out Mommeeeeeee before anyone pays attention to them? I know that being a parent of small children is trying at times, but the child deserves more than this. Children do not feel important when disregarded. This is where the issue starts, and they will only get more obnoxious (to garner your attention) as time goes on. They are being ignored, no one likes that feeling, and it's hard to know how far reaching that rejection may be. They could be clamoring for attention for here on in.
Everyone deserves a voice, everyone's story is important, so be thoughtful toward anyone that chooses to share their life with you.