The Old Ball and Chain

Woke up this morning, hopped in the shower, rocking to pandora, and was in a real good mood. I woke up earlier than normal, was able to make some coffee, check CNN, and relax for a little bit before heading to work. Approaching the elevator, realized two more people would be joining me, and I knew as I was stepping into the elevator I would be entering the most awkward social construct effort. Elevator rides with strangers. So as I stepped on I reached into my pocket for my security blanket and………..shit I left it in my apartment. As soon as the elevator hit the bottom, I booked it upstairs, rushed to unlock the door, and launched myself into the living room to see that taunting green light flashing right on the couch where I had settled to watch CNN.

If you guessed my cell phone, then yeah you got it. Think about how often you use your cell phone to avoid making eye contact with people on public transportation, waiting at a restaurant, or just walking somewhere. Cell phones are the latest in a series of technological advances that have made our lives so much better, but can also make us lose that connection with people. I say this as I sit here my cellular device less than 3 inches away, computer on my lap, and enjoying the dulcet tones of NBC’s The Voice.

Those who know me well will say I am the biggest technology slave out there. They probably hit that nail on the head, but I have not lost the ability or desire to talk to strangers. Certain social constructions do not allow it, but one of the better metro rides I have had in DC was swapping food recommendations with a random guy on the metro who was headed to Chicago. He had grown up in DC so he had some good suggestions and I gave him my classic one, Portillo’s. It was great to get some insight into the DC scene.

People never cease to amaze me for their ability to interact and connect with those who have had drastically different experiences. The ability to experience someone else is what makes us far beyond the most successful species, we must never forget that. We must continue to be compassionate and understand the people around us in a deeper capacity.

Today made me truly realize the importance of interpersonal interaction between one another. It is important to lift your head up from that game of angry birds or reading your 7th politico article for the day. Let us all work on being more interactive with one another. Rather than play that app on your phone, why not talk to the person next to you. If you are more shy and do not enjoy starting the conversation, then try calling an old friend. Even the phone call is a great way to reconnect and work on the interpersonal skills. I value interacting with others so much and feel it is crucial to continuing to elevate mankind above all other species. It is our sacred skill, our most amazing gift, but like anything it must constantly be cultivated and refined.

So stop ignoring the world as it is passing by and enjoy it. Whether it be a phone call to a friend or enjoying the people you are with in that moment, get out of the 42nd game of solitaire you are playing that day and enjoy the moment. As always be safe and make good decisions…

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