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You hear me loud and clear, but are you listening?

Ever since the birth of mankind (that includes women) communication has been something philosophers debated. Authors write books about it and comedians make jokes about miscommunication. Nowadays things are not getting clearer. Misunderstandings have overflowed onto the web page and the smartphone, appearing in tweets and texts.

Spouses compete with electronic devices and cyber social media for attention. Parents and kids find themselves disengaged as families. Can we see the toxic effect our technological era is having on the next generation? Will those that follow after us be able to hold a conversation longer than ten minutes in ten years from now? Perhaps “speed texting” will become an Olympic sport by then? Yes we see what it is doing to our kids, but we are often not willing to give up on our habits ourselves and lead by example.

I am the first to admit that being online can sometimes eat up more of my time and energy that I plan to, the clock moves relentlessly while my mouse goes click, click, click. I look up and hours have passed.

I was fortunate to spend the afternoon with a few ladies in the community who had been invited for tea by a mutual friend. We had a wonderful time of talking and getting to know one another and the conversation turned to what matters in life. We talked about how we are all too busy and how as women the demands on us as super-woman are immense. It is so easy to get sucked into the craziness around us. We demand so much of ourselves.

The more I listened the more I heard one common thing. There is time needed to recharge and refocus, but we rarely take the time. We get irritable and frustrated. We put on a smile, but underneath it all we want to scream, “STOP!”

Take time to smell the roses, and stop feeling guilty about it!- Melony Teague.

For too long we have been pushing aside our needs, emotionally and spiritually. If you told a friend that you could not meet her for coffee because you had to stay home to spend time in prayer and quiet contemplation to connect with your purpose and draw upon the strength you need for each day…how many friends would say: “No problem, I totally understand.”

On the other hand there are very selfish people in the world who care only about themselves and their own comforts and rob themselves of the blessing of feeling what real life is all about. It is illusive to them and they hope to capture it in their next big purchase, on their next spa day and just don’t get that pleasure in life comes from a smile, a conversation with a treasured friend, by holding the hand of someone who is struggling to cope. Pleasure is in the scent of a rose and the feel of sunshine on your skin. Credit cards can’t buy what you need to feel fulfilled.

I hear the messages loud and clear. People are doing everything they can to meet this need.They are running seminars, writing books about how to get that something that is missing. How to get fitter, how to get smarter, to be more successful, to lose weight, how to eat healthier, how to find fulfillment. Is this not an indication, a symptom of a bigger problem?

How about we take a step back and get back to basics, simplify life and put down our smartphones and actually look at the person we are sitting at the table with. Perhaps we will find that what we are looking for is not far away.

I will endeavor never to take my smartphone to the dinner, breakfast or coffee table again. We are better than that, we can have more manners than that. Let us have more respect than that.

Who is with me?

Melony Teague is a Freelance Writer and Columnist who lives in Richmond Hill, Ontario. The Biographer for Portraits of Giving (2014-2016), Aurora Sports Hall of Fame (2015 -2017) and teaches seniors in her community how to write their personal story.

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