Thursday, October 7, 2010
NSA~ Need some Attention? It Only takes a Minute..
Some of my best thoughts comes to me immediately upon waking. Other times while I am walking or creating. This morning was one of those upon my awakening moments. I was reflecting on a conversation I had with two acquaintances about how despite a very mean spirited time we are living in, that human beings have not change a lot in the regard of needing kindness, good words or paying serious attention to. It is indeed in our nature to know that someone genuinely cares, that we get words of approval, or praise that is sincere. One of the remarks was that she was not the kind of person who needs "someone always patting her on the back or need to be the center of attention always". I gather what she was saying, but later that night I got to thinking"what about it when a person DOES need attention. What is wrong with that"? Is it a weakness or a false pride sense of autonomy/independence that makes people think they do not need it? Praise or genuine caring is to human beings what water & sun is to a growing plant. It is part of our makeup perhaps to different degrees,but still needed. Even while human beings are being constantly told to buck up, stop whining, act more like machines,be "professional" i.e non-feeling that we have truly arrived. If that is the case, why on why are suicides on the rise, more murders, more people on anti-depressant, obesity on the rise, etc if that was the case? All of us need a soft place to fall into. And the fear of an epidemic of drama queens & kings is what you have or the thought (egad) that if we give someone attention they will create more drama to get even more, I say AND? I would submit that if people GOT the attention, full dead on attention (which does not mean you have to fix the problem) that the craving for drama will actually subside not increase., Look at a moment at children, we all know if they cannot get your attention one way, they will up the ante until you turn around and then the outcome may not be the most beneficial to all. And paying attention may only take a few seconds but can make the recipient feel absolutely wonderful for the rest of the day. Yesterday in my walk I sent less then 3 minutes with a construction worker who was tending to a home be refurbished 5 years after Katrina. I could tell in those 3 minutes not only did he take pride in his work but he also cared about this city and his share in re-sparking this lovely place. My acknowledgement of that caring made him smile. I would like to say that I may never see him again, but that would not be true as the home is literally 1/2 block from where I live and I will make it a point a couple of times a week to walk in that direction to see the progress he is making. He knows (as I told him) I've been walking around looking at the homes where work has started, progressed & ended. So I know I will see him again. And with my acquaintances last night, I told him about that, I also talked about my experiences when someone gave ME attention and I passed it forward to someone else. I am quick o note when you can tell when a compliment is not sincere or a person is being patronizing. That is not the kind of attention I desire or need. But I do enjoyed looking for ways to give attention to someone else, friend or stranger alike. You never know how or what your attention to that person can make all the difference in the world to them. And as a side advantage, YOU may end of benefiting from the residual well being of the recipient. Our world today is filled with meanness, criticism, outright slander & belittling others. We as a culture rewards this kind of bad behavior. We pay people huge sums of money, making "celebrities" out of them giving them platforms to extol cruelty, be "entertained by bad behavior. (Kinda reminds me of what the whole Roman Empire/Christians being murdered in the arena, gluttony, debasement for entertainment mindset). No I do not think we have to go to the Pleasantville/Leave it to Beaver extreme either as that is all fantasy any how, but we truly see a rapidly eroding civility going on, much which is fueled by the media,& the Internet. We now have a couple of generations of people who have difficulty connecting with people in IRL, somehow taking solace or even yes I said it) pride in their "ability" not to "need" anyone of looking at disconnection as a badge of honor,source of pride... So when we tsk tsk tsk, or bemoan still yet another murder/suicide or wonder where the world is going or think that we have lost our natural mind, for a moment, please, think back of when was the last time YOU gave attention to someone for even just a few seconds, which could have made all the difference in the world.