Apparently mealtimes at home are no exception. One mom reported in her family everyone brings along their electronic gadgets to the table.
She said, "I love it. Nobody argues or complains. Peace, it's wonderful!"
Do you think so?
1. Last week I saw three cute kids trailing after their mom in a large store, all of them sporting designer duds. She pushed a loaded shopping cart from which a toddler clearly wanted to escape.
The three stragglers did what kids do. Poked. Hopped. Pestered. Twirled. Played hide-and-seek, dodging behind displays.
Mom talked on her cell phone all the way. Once in awhile she paused to tell her darlings, "Cut that out!" One boy kept saying, "But mom . . . "
After awhile she stopped her stroll long enough to say in one of those I-am-about-to-explode voices, "STOP. BOTHERING. ME!"
2. Last time my husband and I went out to lunch an attractive young couple came in, the dad carrying his adorable toddler and both parents beaming.
They seated their boy in a high chair, then talked to him and each other for a couple minutes. Then as if on signal, Mom handed her switched-on Smart Phone to their charmer, Dad grabbed his cell phone and Mom got out her I-pad. All conversation ceased.
3. Most times people in restaurants do something similar. Often couples and families eat their entire meal without exchanging a word, except with waiters.
If you were an alien observing our culture, what would you assume?
Likely conclusions might be:
- These people must be strangers
- These folks must not be on speaking terms
- The flesh-and-blood people they're with must be less important than whoever receives their calls or texts or e-mails
That's not so far off, is it? Don't you and I feel diminished when someone we love has no time for us?
Here's the thing. Life is lived in the everyday, ordinary moments.
None of us know we'll be here tomorrow. People we care about need to hear us say so. That means talking. Writing. Being present when we're present.
For years I've loved a poem by that famous author, "Unknown."
The Time is Now
If you're ever going to love me love me now, while I can know
All the sweet and tender feeling which from real affection flow.
Love me now, while I am living; do not wait till I am gone
And then chisel it in marble-- warm love words on ice-cold stone . . .
I won't need your kind caresses when the grass grows o'er my face;I won't crave your love or kisses in my last low resting place.
So, then, if you love me any, if it's but a little bit,
Let me know it now while living; I can own and treasure it.
Say it now, while you're here and they're here.
Think of it as another chance to do unto others as we would have them do unto us. Then tomorrow we do it again, because nobody ever gets tired of hearing those precious words.