Attention Thieves

If the flowers were the thieves, then there would be no problem.

Thinking this morning about where my attention goes. I’m grateful to be drawn in by the beauty in nature, but I have definitely been ensnared by the thieves that make up social media.

I notice how my attention span has weakened in the last ten years, and I feel this is largely due to social media, which is often not very social at all. I’ve deleted my apps at times, only to add them back later, and gradually I’m back to using them too much. These are sneaky thieves. We could argue they aren’t stealing anything, it’s more that I’m mindlessly giving them my attention. I think both ideas are true. They are thieves that have designed methods to ensnare us, and we give in. Eventually they don’t need to try very hard.

Meanwhile, the flowers. They just sit outside, drinking in the sun, waiting for the sometime water. They don’t try to get our attention, though they certainly want the attention of bees sometimes.

And these flowers, humble and lovely, deserve our attention anyway. It is time well spent to study nature. Through our study, we are reminded of where we really come from; we witness our interconnectedness.

What do you do to tear your attention away from the attention thieves, and give it to the worthy?

The flowers.
The bees.
The trees subtly moving with the wind.
The fire ants on the sidewalk, those too.
The scrub jays, hunting.
And more sunlight.

By J. Parrish Lewis

J. Parrish Lewis was born and raised in Maryland. In his youth there, he and his brother had many adventures in the dogwood forests near his home. His nostalgia for these adventures has strongly influenced his characters, their relationships, and their perspective on the world they inhabit. He moved to California’s coast to earn his degree in communications and now lives with his family in the San Joaquin Valley. Lewis is profoundly deaf and uses American Sign Language to communicate. He enjoys hazelnut coffee, captioned movies, and walking his dog.

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