Simone Weil wrote, “Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.”
As things are, we hardly have time to stand still, let alone listen with our full attention.
During conversation, listen intently. Seek to understand and empathise, not to rebut.
I have always try to minimise distraction, be it newspaper, magazine or smartphone. I feel it‘s only right and respectful to be really engaged whenever friends and family gather around. I‘m guilty of occasionally whipping out the phone and just scroll through the home screen. However, it‘s a muscle reflex action more than a desire to advance through the next level of candy crash, or get to the end of the never-ending news feeds of Facebook or Twitter.
But it‘s hard. It‘s hard when almost everyone has their eyes glued to the screen of iPad and iPhone. So many iDistractions. What am I going to do? Join them if I can‘t beat them?
Well, I observe. I observe their expression. Most are giving their undivided attention to the glowing screen. And they‘re expressionless.
Though technology has connected us, it has also made us retreat into our own complex world. A world so disconnected with the real people just across the table.
We have given so much attention to the pixels, yet neglected what truly matters.