be present with

Be Present with, and Thankful for, those Around You

Be Present with, and Thankful for, Those Around You

This is something I’ve really been thinking about lately and something I am guilty of not doing.  Also, my husband and I are reading a book where the opposite of this is happening. As is already the case here and now but on a bigger scale and that is this:  Be present with those around you. 

Be Present with?

I am talking about the people you live with or see face-to-face on a regular basis.  Treasure them.  Appreciate them.  Spend time with them where you are totally focused on them.  While they are talking to you, don’t check your phone for notifications or to find out who said what on Facebook since you last checked (Twitter either, or Instagram, or any social media site).

These are the things that matter, the people that matter.  These are the connections that mean the most.  Let me say unequivocally that I am a very big proponent of social media.  I love it (perhaps too much) and I always will.  I appreciate all of the friends I have met online, which definitely include all of you reading this!  I definitely appreciate Church Online because it has caused me to find a church that truly accepts and values me.

There has to be a balance, of course.  But I do think a lot of us, (me included) spend way too much time not paying attention to the people around us, in the real world. Those people who we can physically touch and hug and listen to and think about how we enjoy the sound of their voice.

Be Present with!

be present with
a boy peeking around a wall with words saying are you paying attention?

As you all know, my father has cancer, and they have discovered a second tumor.  We will be getting the results of that tomorrow.  When I went there in May, he asked me point-blank why I came.  It wasn’t a mean question; it was just him wanting to know.  I said I wanted to be there before he died.  Now, I want to be there again, but that’s another story for another post.  Anyway, he appreciated that.  that first night, at one point, I sat there fingering my braille display while he was talking.  I really didn’t even have the tablet the braille display was connected to turned on; it was just a fidgety gesture, and he called me on it because it seemed like I wasn’t really caring or paying attention.  The funny part of it was, a couple days later, we were talking while he was playing Spider Solitaire on the computer.  I said, in a half-joking manner, “Now Dad, you got on my case about the braille display, but look what you are doing.”  He stopped and said, “busted!  you’re right; you spent all this money to travel all this way to come see me. I should not be playing this game, and I will stop it at the end of this game right here.”

We did spend a lot of great time that week, but I wish we had spent more.  What if I hadn’t gone?  What if I didn’t even have that, or if I had and spent every waking moment just with half an ear to what he said?  We couldn’t have had meaningful conversations.  I still think it wasn’t enough.  How much more would I have thought that if my constant focus was my phone or my online contacts?

I fear that if we don’t take the time to shift now and give those we love, those around us, those who love us, our undivided attention, we may come to regret it in the future.

Our phone can always be replaced.  My dad will not be replaced.  I could text him, but even though I do audibly hear his response because I use speech synthesis to read my screen, it is not hearing his voice, his words, his tone of voice.

Please remember this.  here is a question to ponder: what can we do today to show that we care about those physically present with us?  What is one step we can take to start shifting our focus to being present in the moment, with those we share physical life with?  I guarantee, from experience, if we do, our lives will be much richer than just checking social media statuses that leave us wanting.

Outside sources


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