Robert K. Greenleaf

The best test, and difficult to administer, is: do those served grow as persons; do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants? And, what is the effect on the least privileged in society; will he benefit, or, at least, will he not be further deprived?

This suggests that a non-servant who wants to be a servant might become a natural servant through a long arduous discipline of learning to listen, a discipline sufficiently sustained that the automatic response to any problem is to listen first.”

“Listening isn’t just keeping quiet; and it isn’t just making appropriate responses that indicate one is awake and paying attention,” says Greenleaf. “Listening is a healing attitude, the attitude of intensely holding the belief–faith if you wish to call it thus–that the person or persons being listened to will rise to the challenge of grappling with the issues involved in finding their own wholeness.”