In his book, The Geography of Bliss, Eric Weiner had two lovely paragraphs on attention.
Attention’ is an underrated word. It doesn’t get the… well, the attention it deserves. We pay homage to love, and happiness, and, God knows, productivity, but rarely do we have anything good to say about attention. We’re too busy, I suspect. Yet our lives are empty and meaningless without attention.
My two-year-old daughter fusses at my feet as I type these words. What does she want? My love? Yes, in a way, but what she really wants is my attention. Pure, undiluted attention. Children are expert at recognizing counterfeit attention. Perhaps love and attention are really the same thing. One can’t exist without the other.”
The essence of Zen is supposedly found in taking things one step at a time.
We subconsciously remind ourselves of this principle and the reality that our attention is likely our most valuable resource every time we say, “pay attention.”
It is up to us to use this resource well, as we would any other thing of similar value.
In the spirit of the New Year, I can’t think of a finer present to offer to myself.