Often, we say to each other, “To make a long story short…”
And often, it’s a courtesy. An efficiency. Just the highlights, please and thanks.
To be sure, there’s a place for that.
But sometimes, if a story is long, it has earned its length. And it can be a rare and ennobling thing to have someone who wants to hear it.
So what if every so often we responded to each other, “Let it be as long as it is. If you want to tell it, I want to listen to it.”
We could, for the speaker, fulfill that most basic of human needs: to be heard.
And we could, for ourselves, fulfill another most basic of human needs: to know we aren’t alone.
No one of us lives a life of high lights. But it can sure feel like we’re the only ones fumbling around, knocking stuff over in the low light when all we hear are the long stories made short.
So it could be such a humanizing, comforting, connective act to tilt our hearts towards each other and say, “You make your story as long as you need to. I’m not going anywhere.”