I sat working at the coffee shop and watched a father and two boys who I assumed were his sons walk in. They sat together at a table, the father hunched over his phone, not looking up. The two young boys had a phone between them and were playing a game on it. Neither the boys nor the father acknowledged each other. The manager came over to greet them. The child holding the phone didn’t even look up. They were there for about 15 or 20 minutes, collecting takeaways and then they left. In all that time they didn’t interact.
Most of us are guilty of this to some extent.
If we keep in mind the things that are important to us, we will put our phones down, close our laptops early and switch off the tv.
What 3 things are most important to you?
When you identify what they are remember them when living your day to day life. There’s a good chance it will feel satisfying and connecting.
Last week I was shopping at Woolies Norwood. I walked past the fridges at the back of the store and I heard some people softly singing a beautiful song that I really love. I thought that maybe I would be lucky and stood there for a few seconds more….. I was.
Out of the back came 10 to 15 staff members with wonderful voices singing Asimbonanga**, I assume in preparation for Madiba’s birthday. I decided to follow them around and I chose not to video them but instead to just be in the moment and enjoy the singing.
I was astounded to notice though that other shoppers just gave a cursory glance at them and continued on their shopping. When the staff continued singing at the entrance of the shop, me and two other women were watching them and thoroughly enjoying their performance. Three people!
I was taken aback at people’s complacency to having free, beautiful, live entertainment while doing a mundane task such as shopping. Why weren’t other people stopping to watch and listen? People didn’t even smile at them or clap when they finished (except me and two other ladies). Why was shopping more important than a one or two minute stop to appreciate other people’s efforts? Look, at least it gave me something to write about.
We do shopping every week, sometimes even more often. Here was something out of the ordinary and people didn’t deem it worthy to pause and just breathe and enjoy.
Stop. You’ve got to enjoy the little things. One day you are not going to wish you had spent more time shopping, you are going to wish you had stopped to listen to the staff choir or to look up at the sky and the clouds or to smile at a stranger and watch them smile back.
These are the moments of joy.
** This link is the Soweto Choir singing this song 3 years ago at Woolies I added it just so that you could hear the song.
Something I have noticed about social media is that if you give your opinion and people don’t like it, it’s scary how aggressive they become.
I often like to put across the other person’s point of view. The one that nobody wants to hear. The critics only choose one perspective and then get so angry if anyone challenges that. But not only do they get angry, they get abusive, insulting and downright rude. People “scream” about what an idiot you are for giving that particular opinion but they don’t realise they are acting the same way.