I believe one of the reasons our relationships suffer is that most of us have a tough time living in the present moment. The next time you are with a friend or a family member put down your telephone (everyone will survive if you don’t answer that text in the next hour or so), turn off the television, stop all of your business, and just sit and try to really hear what the other person is saying to you. I’m talking about being truly present.
I will always remember my friend, Tom Harken as the one who carried a little poem with him 24/7. You could always count on him taking out his little card and reading it to someone in the room. He often gave away a copy and I have one that he gave to me. The poem goes like this:
I have only just a minute,
Only sixty seconds in it.
Forced upon me, can’t refuse it.
Didn’t seek it, didn’t choose it.
But it’s up to me
to use it.
I must suffer if I lose it.
Give account if I abuse it.
Just a tiny little minute,
but eternity is in it.
– Dr. Benjamin E. Mays
When you join a friend for lunch don’t take your cell phone out of your purse, or your pocket–not even for a minute. When you answer a phone call or a text, the message to your friend is that the one calling or texting you is more important than they are. If someone needs to reach you it won’t matter if it’s thirty minutes or an hour later when they do.
In order to build healthier, deeper relationships, practice being present.