You pass people in the hall, or on the street, all the time. As you walk by each other, you might ask automatically ask “How are you doing?” Are you asking because you really want to know, or simply because it’s what you do as a greeting? Do you pay attention to the answer? (my answer is almost always my own trademark “I’ll live.”, which at least serves as a humorous conversation starter, although there have been plenty of people who have let it go right by them as though I had said “Fine, thank you.” – it’s okay, really, I mean nothing more serious by it than they did when they asked how I was doing. It’s just what we do.)
We have entirely too many things occupying our attention to be able to devote REAL ATTENTION to it – we train ourselves to do things without thinking – like tying our shoes – so we can devote our attention to things that truly require all our brain-power. But it’s not just about simple, mechanical stuff. We focus on the lions quickly, and learn to ignore the ducks. It’s how we’ve adapted to survive over the millennia, focusing on only the most important parts of the picture.
We all have our autopilot moments – things we do without thinking, often to make it look like we’re paying attention when we’re really not. Who among us hasn’t listened to someone saying the same thing they’re already before for the fiftieth time, and just smiled and nodded so we would seem agreeable, and like we really cared?
But if that’s what you were doing, then how do you know if they were repeating what they’ve said the last forty-nine times? Aside from being rude, you miss things that might be important. It’s like the magic ball of string, where the boy kept unrolling the string to bypass the boring parts of his life – and wound up old, and with no memories at all.
Don’t short-change your life. There may even be some value in thinking about how you’re tying your shoes on occasion. Pay attention.
William Mangieri’s writing – including his most recent publication The Next Three ‘Things I Could Get OUT OF MY MIND’ – can be found in many places, including:
• Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/NoTimeToThink
• His Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B008O8CBDY
• Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/william-mangieri?store=book&keyword=william+mangieri
• Createspace (if you prefer physical books): https://www.createspace.com/pub/simplesitesearch.search.do?sitesearch_query=william+mangieri&sitesearch_type=STORE
To CONNECT WITH HIM (and LIKE and FOLLOW), go to
• His site on WordPress: https://williammangieri.wordpress.com
• “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/NoTimeToThink
• His Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6893616.William_Mangieri
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri