The capacity to pay attention is at the heart of our human development. If as children we are trained to be aware of the feelings of others, that if there are other people in the room we shouldn’t make too much noise or we don’t bang the door, that we should be polite as we enter or leave a room – these simple very basic elements of courtesy, civilised behaviour, are really qualities of attention – they develop qualities of attention in us. We are able intuitively then to respect the point of view or the needs of others, at least to be aware of those needs. But if we don’t have that quality of attention developed, then we will be in danger of becoming egocentric personalities.
( The Brick Wall of the Ego 1 by Laurence Freeman OSB )