Tuesday, March 13, 2012

What We Miss

Our head is down so much. Any spare time we have whether it’s waiting in the car for our kids to get out of school, hanging out at one of their basketball or volleyball games, or being at a doctor appointment – we seem to use that time to hang our heads and be on our electronic devices.

I’ve done it. I’ve seen it. Everywhere.

I’ve seen parents at their children’s sports game playing games on their cell phones. Or while they are waiting for their child at sports practice, they are feverishly working on a laptop.

Head down.

I understand the need and desire to use our time wisely. But I also realize that we are losing time constantly. Especially when it comes to our children. For me, I want to watch every moment that I can when my children are playing a sport. And even if they aren’t in the game or the game hasn’t started yet, I want to observe who is impacting their life – whether that is their teammates, coach, or the students and parents in the stands.

If I’m waiting for my child to get out of school, I can learn a lot by observing the kids hanging out. I can see what they are wearing, how they act, and learn a lot about my child’s world.

I think we’ve forgotten how to observe. How to engage in life, sometimes. We forget that we can gain valuable information by watching.   Even if I’m not with my child and I’m on my own at a doctor’s office, I have gained valuable insight into our society and culture by observing others. And sometimes, I’ve simply gained what I needed the most – a few moments to relax.

We don’t always need to have our heads buried or on the phone. We don’t need to fill up every spare minute. We can look up and around us. We can have our eyes and heart opened to what is going on in the world and we can remember how it feels to converse with others instead of simply shutting ourselves off into our own world.

Life goes by so fast. We have more than enough time to be on our laptops, Ipads, cell phones, and Ipods. Unplug them. Leave them at home or in the car. Focus on real living and real life. I promise, it’s much better.

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