For the past few days, I have been thinking about how important it is to actually be there–physically, mentally, and emotionally. I’ll try to explain.
We live in a time and a culture that seems to promote multitasking–doing several things at once. While this may work for a computer, I don’t think my brain is capable of handling more than one thing at a time.
If my wife is speaking to me, I need to listen to her and not to attempt to listen and to do something else at the same time. Listening requires me to actually be there. If I’m reading, watching TV, or working on the computer, I am somewhere else. Physically, I’m there by my wife. But if I’m doing anything else that requires thought, I’m not there mentally, but somewhere else.
No one can be physically in two places at the same time. And the same rule applies to my brain. My thoughts cannot be in two places at the same time. Since I can only be mentally in one place at a time, I need to really “be there” — wherever “there” is and needs to be.
Yesterday to posted a video that attempts to teach the dangers of texting while driving. Texting while driving can, and does, have deadly consequences. Having our mind–and eyes–on one thing (the cell phone) when it should be on the road is dangerous. And so is having our mind and eyes on something else when we should be focusing our attention on our conversations. We need to be there–all there. Not only is the communication more effective, but it is more polite.
When we devote our whole attention to one thing at a time, we will have a cleaner, clearer idea of what is going on. We will be able to better understand what the other person is saying, thinking, and feeling. Being there completely will foster better communications.
I’m going to work on being there. I hope you will do the same. Perhaps this is a small way we can make the world a little better today.