PlazaJen: Passion Knit

Friday, September 28, 2007

Slow Down Challenge

I just thought this morning, "I have a good life."

I know, I bitch & moan, and rail at the heavens, and shake my fist at those stupid drivers, and freak out about work, but really, if you made me put all the beans in two piles, good & bad, there's so much more that's good.

I had a long conversation with a friend, and partway through, even though I knew it would heighten emotions, I leaned over and put my hand on her arm and told her one of the things I admire most about her. I won't make this into a weepy post, but you know what? We all need to hear those things. And they have to be genuine, and heartfelt, and you can't do it every time you see them because then you'd be kind of a dork, you know, that person that gushes and makes you uncomfortable every time you're around them, but you know, I challenge you to try it. Don't force it, but sometime in the next week, tell someone with whom you have regular interaction something that's great about them. You don't even have to touch them while you do it.

See, we get going. And we catch momentum. And we forget to stop, that we have the power to stop. This world is so fast now. We make half (or more) of our decisions and conclusions in front of a glowing screen that's not much bigger than a purse. (My purse :is: bigger. Sigh.) We read things and decide things and we don't see the facial expressions or have the chance to know that there are 100 other things going on outside of that keyboard and screen, and we have email and websites and instant messenger and cellular telephone devices and some people even have the iPhone. Hell, we still have a fax machine at work and it's the most antiquated tool we use. Used to be that very device revolutionized how business, and communication was done.

There is no substitute for talking to someone face to face. Seeing their face, seeing their humanity, seeing they are just like you. And me. And we need things we'll never, ever get from a computer. But we forget it, because we get so used to the endless stream of data and information, and that is the norm and it feels strange to demand more. I was just thinking about my challenge, and had automatically started to mentally write emails to people, to tell them something great. Again. My challenge to you, and to myself, is to do it in person. In the moment. It is the purest essence of being there, and you will feel more reconnected than any of those rechargeable, wired/wireless devices could possibly do.

Let us know how it goes. (That's all the readers here, all 14 of you, not the Royal Us.) Put it on your blog. I know there's irony in it. Using this one-sided form of communication to challenge other people you know to stop using it - but I never said all this internet stuff was bad - it's just different. It has changed how we process and react to things and in some ways it is phenomenal. I have a whole circle of people I like and I've never met (most) of you - and we only communicate through the glowing screen. But I found my mind wandering to the dream of taking a trip, so I could meet all of you. (I'd call (or email!) first, don't worry.) Because the foundation and the solidness of our loves and friendships comes from the face time. I know I probably won't meet everyone I like and know through the online community - but I know on some level my life would be far richer if I could.

Go do something real, live and in-person. Slap a little love on someone who needs to hear it. And if it makes you want to chuck your iPhone, send me an email, I'll give you my mailing address. ;)
posted by PlazaJen, 6:29 AM