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Everywhere you go, people are burying their faces in bright screens, completely oblivious to the world around them. They are more concerned with what Karen ate for breakfast than what is occurring right before them. In a technologically advanced world, there is no doubt that people will continue to use their smartphones. But there is still hope for the concept of living in the moment.
Trust me, I am not anti-technology. In fact, as I write this, I am typing on a laptop with my phone a few inches to the side and the television playing white noise in the background. But I am not a huge fan of phones at the dinner table, or texting while walking (and especially driving), or even using your phone while taking a dump. Our lives are so short and numbered that we cannot afford to spend half of it in a virtual world. People always feel the need to maintain connections with everyone at all times and sometimes it draws their attention away from the real world. It's especially sad to see parents on their phones during their children's games or recitals, or friends texting other people at the lunch table when there was a reason they all sat together in the first place.
Eventually we will be old and crusty and sharing our wisdom with the next generation. And I believe the best wisdom a person can give is their experiences. Don't let your experiences become cyber. Make them real and make them count.
The world is a beautiful and astounding place and you never know what you can miss. My dad always tells me, "If you're there, you're not here." He would refer to our phones as there and here as... here.
He also reminded us to make stories and tell them. Our stories are what defines us and telling them is how we leave our mark on this world after we’re gone. Whether it be a simple incident at the grocery story or an adventure of a lifetime, all stories are worth being shared.
So now I’d like to share one of my stories (or rather someone else’s): My grandpa is one of the most generous people I know. He’s always so willing to help anyone in need and never expects anything in return (except maybe a thank you). Whenever he sees kids hanging around schools after hours, he always wants to offer them a ride home. He’s the type of person that holds the door open for people even when they’re twenty feet away. There’s a homeless man that sits outside his favorite Vietnamese restaurant every day and every time he sees him, he buys him a sandwich. These small acts of kindness may not seem like a big deal to my grandpa, but to the people he helps, it means the world. Because of this, I’ve learned to be kind to everyone I encounter, especially my enemies. My grandpa always said that people only hate because they have an absence of love. That always resonated with me and I continue to preach it every day.
Another thing I’d like to mention is how much I’ve grown over the years (I’m sorry this is getting off topic but this is how my mind works. LOL). In middle school I had so many toxic friends, and the reason they were toxic was because I let them push me around and treat me like I was their servant. I would get so scared of them being mad at me that I let them tell me what to do and they took advantage of that. But as I finally grew up and realized that I didn’t have to be friends with them, I dropped them and suddenly my life was so much brighter. I found new, amazing friends and didn’t let anyone treat me with disrespect.
So I'd like to remind you, please look around.