When the Present Becomes the Past

With my two serving jobs, I have seen so many tables that sit in silence because they are wrapped up in their phones. I’ve seen parents playing candy crush while their children fight, kids with headphones in playing war games and not saying a word to their parent, and Moms who set their unruly kids up with a movie and ignore them the rest of dinner. Each time I see this I become a little depressed for humanity, for what is to come with our actions. I look at the world as a whole right now and all that is going on,  and I think these two things ( the lack of human contact and recents events) have a close relationship.

When we are so wrapped up in the screens in front of us we fail to understand what others are going through. We interact with people in a cyber world in which emotions cannot be conveyed. Instead of feelings of sympathy, I see anger, fear and blame being put on others. In our obsession with reaching things far from us, our constant looking to the future and what is to come, we have forgotten how to interact with the now. Our present has become the past. What if instead of pointing fingers we supported those who were hurting, we stood as one united force against the pain and the hurt,  instead of blaming people for experiencing the ridicule.

What if we were more intentional with the people directly around us? Asking how they feel, what they’ve experienced, what they want to do in the now. What if we put down our phones, stopped reading about what everyone else is doing and feeling, and start loving those around us, being open to what others have to say, recognizing that every person you pass has a story, a struggle, and fears too. In a way we have begun to dehumanize each other, we treat each other like we could care less. I too am guilty of this; the racial slurs that slip out, the blaming of other religions, the bashing of other genders. Yes, the phrase love one another is a little cliché, but I think more now than ever it should be something that we cling on to. I am certain that there is a lot less evil than good in the world, and for some reason, we always focus on the evil, the pain, and the loss. We single out people who think different, act different and look different than we do, all in our fear of everything else going on.

I truly believe that the first step to creating a better world is trying to understand the different. Finding similarities instead of disparities. Putting our phones down when around other people- whether at the table, on the bus, or waiting in line. We seal ourselves into an electronic box that few dare to break into. Stop worrying about what is to come, what is in the future, what you want to do tomorrow, and look at what is now, who is around you at the moment, and what you can do today.

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