Friday, February 22, 2013

Creativity Tips: Pay Attention

I take yoga classes at a rec center -- the yoga room is right next to the big gym. So, every week, I walk by all the adults sitting outside the gym while their adorable elementary school children practice gymnastics.

The kids are a hoot -- they're tumbling and balancing and falling and leaping and laughing. I know this, because there are huge windows so you can see the action from the waiting room.

Unfortunately, the windows aren't all that necessary.

As I left the other night, I noticed that -- as usual -- almost all the adults were focused on their iPads and cellphones and laptop computers. Only a few were watching the kids. One of the other yoga participants, walking next to me, said, "Isn't that great? Everyone is making such good use of their time!"

We were leaving yoga. I was mellow. It wasn't the time to go ballistic. But, that was then and this is now.

Ignoring a six-year-old on the balance beam is not a good use of your time. Missing your third-grader do a perfect dismount is not a good use of your time. Playing solitaire when a child is right in front of your face doing a cartwheel is not a good use of your time.

And it's not just an adult-kid thing. We're in danger of losing eye contact, people. Remember eye contact? That thing you used to make with another human being before we turned our focus to all things electronic?

Listen up, because I'm ranting and I'm right and I love you: You don't get this day again. Only today. Only today.

Pay attention.

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