during the day, I consciously focus on some ordinary
object and allow myself a momentary "paying-attention."
paying-attention gives meaning to my life.
I don't know who
it was, but someone said that
careful attention paid to anything
is a window into the
universe. Pausing to think this way, even for
brief moment, is very important. It gives quality
to my day.
gives quality to my day? There are many things that
do so: When someone smiles at me, for one.
Many more people smile at me when I smile at them than
otherwise. Noticing a perfect drop of dew on a leaf
or a blade of grass. I see many more of those when I
look for them. Birds singing in the trees, filling
the air with their beautiful songs. I hear them well
when I stop and listen to them. A compliment on
something that I've done well. I get more
compliments when I put a lot of work into something than
when I do things quickly. A heartfelt "thank
you" adds quality to my day, too. I get many
more thank you's when I've done something for which
someone thanks me than I do when I haven't done anything
see and feel and receive the things that give quality to
my life when I actively try to see and feel and hear those
things, and when I actively try to put quality into the
world. Paying careful attention is work, but it's
not particularly hard work once you get used to it.
And much of the work consists in learning how to ignore
all those other things that are competing for our
attention, all those other things that don't give quality
to our days. The noise of cars and planes, the ads
on radio and television, the negativity of political
campaigns and the news--all of these things may have some
importance to us, but if we pay too much attention to
them, then where's the room or time for paying attention
to the other things that add quality?