Sometimes I am struck with one of the deep ironies of contemporary American life. Everywhere I go, people are talking on their cell phones while they are walking, sitting at a bus stop or sitting with friends at a restaurant. Whole families eat together with each member texting away. We are bombarded with ads urging us to not drive distracted. Still all around I see drivers texting and driving. Once I saw a man in the adjacent lane talking on the phone with one hand and eating with the other. Since he only had two hands, guess how he was steering. With his knee! I hurried quickly past before he landed in my path.
Meanwhile everywhere I go I am told the benefits of mindfulness. Mindfulness supposedly improves schools, work places, and home lives. Mindfulness teaches a person, as far as I understand it, to be in the present moment. Classes, retreats, guides and experiences are available, for a fee, to teach you to be mindful.
Herein lies the irony. People who are spending hours of their lives removed from the present moment by their focus on electronic devices are now going to workshops to teach them how to be in the moment. I offer my no fee suggestions. Hang up the phone. Look around. Enjoy your surroundings. Without any further training you can find yourself present!