It feels like there's always something vying for my attention. Particularly in the city, the constant hum of traffic and roadworks, the blare of advertisements, the intrusive presence of signposts telling me what to do, and the glare of neon signs make me feel overwhelmed by sensory input. Yet, despite all this external noise, I find myself drawn to screens, screens, and more screens during my moments of downtime. It's as if the gaps in between distractions need to be filled, and a screen is always at reach.
Occasionally, I look around and feel a sense of relief, thinking I'm not as bad as others. I don't cross the road while staring at my phone, walk with my wife and kids with my eyes glued to a screen, or pause in the middle of conversations to check an alert on my watch. However, the reality is that being marginally better than others doesn't cut it, and it's not even a valid standard to strive for.
Rather than filling every spare moment with digital distractions, I can choose to engage in activities that nourish my mind and spirit. I can simply sit in silence, or strike up a conversation with a total stranger.
This morning, a very simple interaction with a cashier at a bustling supermarket filled with people absorbed in their screens and ears covered by earphones made me feel like I changed his day, and mine, for the better.
Why don't I do that more often?