One of the biggest ideas I am taking away from NCCL is the reminder to be “present” to people of all ages. Today, we are bombarded with emails, facebook updates, facebook messages, and texts. I hear so often how important it is to use technology as a means of communication and to build relationships. I firmly believe there are advantages to email, facebook, and texting (I use all three all day long!). However, my concern is that we are forgetting how to be “present” to each other. We are not really engaging with people in real, meaningful relationships that draws forth our deeper selves with these tools.
I thought about being “present” to people all last week at NCCL. This weekend my grandparents came to visit us. I grew up next door to my grandparents, and as I spent the weekend with them, I saw two people who model the idea of being “present” to others. One of their favorite things to do is sit and have a cup of coffee with people. I cannot begin to tell you how many cups of dark roast community coffee I have sipped while discussing life with Boppy and B-Buddha. It is by far one of my favorite memories and traditions I have with them. As we drink coffee together, we share old memories, we talk about our current lives, and we share our hopes for the future. Sitting with them, slows life down a bit. I know when I am with them that they are fully present to me, to Chris, and to my kids.
I have much to learn from their “cup of coffee” ministry! I have watched them do this my entire life not just with me but with anyone they come in contact with. They provide space for people to share life, to pose questions, to express fears, and to share hopes. They truly journey with us. They model what I feel is still so necessary and important to all of us–engaging in real, meaningful, face to face relationships! While my grandparents are hip owners of an i-phone and use it to stay in contact with me, they never forget the importance of being present to others.
In the age of technology, how are you “present” to others in a real, meaningful way?
How do you journey with others and “sip coffee” with them?
Do you seek the real “presence” of another person?