“As you walk and eat and travel, be where you are. Otherwise you will miss most of your life.” ― Gautama Buddha
I have a pet peeve in life. I truly dislike it when I talk to people and they are busy with their cellphones, or excusing themselves to reply on their gadgets, or furiously texting back on their mobile units with fast flying fingers while talking to me. When I am in the middle of a serious conversation, and my phone is ringing, I simply ignore it or turn it off, and quietly finish the talk first.
Unless it is the Dalai Lama. Or the President of my country. No, seriously because I once worked for him. The President, not the Dalai Lama.
Each day I meet people who are multi tasking unhealthily as they move around … texting while driving, texting while eating or talking, texting while watching a movie, texting while watching their kids’ program in school.
In doing so, they forget to live in the moment. They forget to appreciate what is happening in front of them, in anticipation of the future events. They google, surf, check, chat… struggling to be one step ahead, concentrating on a virtual reality, and avoiding a reality check.
And if they don’t worry about the future, they darn dwell so much in the past, often unforgiving. No in betweens. With all the rapidly burgeoning high technology around us, only a small percentage of humanity today is left living in the NOW, and appreciating life as it unfolds, willing to let bygones be. Everybody seems to carry excess emotional baggages which they dump online (hugot).
“Choosing to live in the past or the future not only robs you of enjoyment today, it robs you of truly living.” ~ Joshua Baker
Millenials of today panic when there is no wifi signal, as if the world forgets them if they disengage with the wire for a moment. There is simply no time for zen moments in a garden or a quiet walk by the beach, because today zen is another state of being. It is surfing as a lurker, and getting momentary pleasure to be voyeurs to others’ lives. We all have opinions on how others must live, while our own are on standby every time we open our communication gadgets.
I mean, I have bought tons of notebooks and pens, and the pages today are still blank. Flashback to twenty years ago, my pages used to be covered with poetry, short stories, doodles and comic sketches. No wonder calligraphy and zen doodling have made a comeback. They are trying to teach you how to use your fingers again apart from pounding on keys. (I did calligraphy since high school but never thought it would be a trend today).
Though I miss my good old past where I can hear the rustle of pages as I turn each leaf of a book, or mail my letters in a postal office and wait for a reply to come back a week after, communication today has enormous progress, and reading materials are immediately updated and available online. With the rapid response though, comes a scary thought for reckless people … an honest mistake, a false accusation can go viral and in a snap destroys a reputation and honor.
What a sad, sad thought to dwell when we are so busy thinking one step ahead, that we simply forget to appreciate where we are and who we are with at the moment. Family and pets are vying for attention, but you are currently caught up in the viral Snapchat of the day, or the latest political meme.
We do not need to catch up with technology. We need to tune in to our emotional well-being and seize the day (carpe diem). What is that updated term again? YOLO, the younger generation declares, for You Only Live Once. Once cute and trendy, now they find it annoying and banned in a list of overused slang by teens making excuses.
Before I end my lengthy piece of mind, here is a nice article to share from Joshua Baker’s 10 Tips to Start Living in the Present. It may just help you get off to a good minimalist start in your journey.
Furthermore, here’s another piece of advice to share from the net where I spend 24/7 of my time scouring for inspirational tips on how to live life inspirationally (irony alert). Read Top 10 Instant Moments of Zen and look for something moving to uplift your spirits today.
And if there is a way to avoid anxiety attacks on information overload the minute you go online… I really don’t know. Sigh. Why don’t you google it.
Photo above : Monk in Phnom Penh, Cambodia © Jojie Alcantara