Morning Coffee – 2017

As the rain pours down outside, I greet this day with a delightful cup of coffee. I haven’t shared a cup with you for quite some time. Pull up a chair. Pour yourself a cup. Let’s talk awhile.

So when was the last time you actually sat across from another human being in a focused way and had a conversation that didn’t involve your thumbs?

Can you remember the most recent time you listened with your full attention to someone share something with you?

I’ve noticed that people can’t be without their ‘phones’ even for a few short hours. Even when in a class, I often see a subtle checking of the phone. I don’t like the ubiquitous presence of these electronic attention-grabbers. It takes the person out of the present moment, and according to all the wisdom teachings, the present moment is the place of true power.

The power to change our past, our futures, individually and collectively. But we’re too busy checking our emails.

Recent research shows, and some programmers that are ‘in the know’, have begun to speak up about how our devices are being engineered to capture our attention. Our basic human instincts are being used against us, to cause us to become addicted to our electronic devices.

I’m beginning to be concerned that the newest form of slavery has invisible chains. How is this going to change the trajectory of the collective? That remains to be seen. The one thing I hang my hopes on is the power of our free will to choose what we will and will not allow in our lives.

I long for the days when the phones were tethered to the walls of our homes, and if you wanted to make a call when you were away from home, you had to find a ‘phone booth’.

When is the last time you saw one of these? They have virtually disappeared from the landscape, and nobody even seems to have noticed.

Think about it: if you needed to make a call, you actually had to stop what you were doing, and make that call. You didn’t have the ability to walk down the street and make a call. You had to pay attention to what you were doing in the moment. You had to fish for coins, find the number, dial the number, wait for the other party to answer, have your conversation, and then hang up before you continued on with your day.

Now you shoot them a quick text and wait for the ping of your phone to let you know they’ve responded. So, how present are you, anyway? So much is lost in written communication. Where is the voice inflection? The expression on the speaker’s face? Their body language is also an important part of the process. It’s ironic to me that despite our increased ability to stay connected, we are actually more disconnected from each other than ever.

Since when is it inspired advice to have a ‘family dinner’ one night a week? When did dinners around the table complete with conversation about our day go the way of the phone booth?

Our awareness has been shrinking of late, not expanding. I encourage you to spend a day, yes a day, without your phone. Turn it off. Leave it home. Notice your physiological responses. Notice how many times you reach for it to check your ‘messages’ and perhaps you will begin to understand how ‘dependent’ you’ve become. Then ask yourself if it truly benefits you to be constantly ‘connected’ in that way.

The next time you meet someone for lunch or a cup of coffee, why don’t you both turn off your phones and spend the time fully engaged with another human being? They are worth your attention. You are worth your attention.

Well, my friends, the coffee cup is empty, and it’s time for me to go about my day. Thanks for sitting with me. Thanks for listening.

All original material is (c) 2017, Julia Marie. All rights reserved.

Indifference and neglect often do more damage than outright dislike. ~ JK Rowling

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