"Pay attention to the people who take the time to hang out with you." ~ Anonymous
I read this line and saw this photo on Tumblr today. I am pleased to say that I try my best to do this. Pay attention, I mean. If you and I are friends and we met up for coffee, you wouldn't see me on my phone until the end of our meet-up and probably only because I needed to get my wallet to pay and saw my phone.
If you and I see each other in person, I can tell you this much: You will have my full attention.
I always consider attention akin to a gift. After all, my attention is my life and my love made manifest. That makes attention a gift - and a privilege and honor - that we give each other.
Last year I gave up Facebook. I still have an account because it's my default address book and possibly the easiest way to get in touch with me. But I'm no longer engaged in that space.
There are a lot of things I learned from my disengagement.
One of them is that very few of my friends will purposefully let me know what is up in their lives because most of them assume that once they've posted it on FB, everyone would know, including me. I grasped the fact that others may not consider my friendship valuable enough to go out of their way to share their lives with me, specifically. I say that with no judgement. I will say though with honesty and a sad heart that I miss meeting up with friends who want to let me know about their lives and want to know about mine. Because, isn't that what friends do?
The way we communicate with each other has changed. The onus is now on me to know what is happening with you. And if I don't know, it's not because you didn't tell me, It's because I did not seek you in the spaces where you would broadcast your life.
One of my joys now is meeting up with friends who are either not on Facebook or don't make it a huge part of their everyday lives. I enjoy their company in a most special way. They don't assume I know anything about what they're up to and take the time to tell me. In turn, they ask how I've been. And with genuine interest and curiosity, we listen to each other. Confide in one another. Laugh together.
God, how priceless.
"I am large. I contain multitudes." - Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
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