Turning our attention

We live, as some have observed, in an attention economy.  Attention, like time, is a limited resource.  Because where we direct our attention impacts what we buy, getting and keeping our attention is a key strategy for those with something to sell.

Attention is also a spiritual resource.  It is essential for being in tune with ourselves and one of the greatest gifts – if not the greatest – we can give another person.  And we can tell, I can tell! when someone is or isn’t being attentive.    

It’s hard to talk about attention without considering the role smart phones play in our lives.  I have come to accept these magic-in-the-pocket devices as part of life.  They can be pretty great.  But they are also probably my least favorite part about parenting… Can I get an Amen?

I’ve come to realize that a key thing I want for my children is the ability to be attentive to people.  To know how to be present with people in the room.  Present with and present to others.  This can involve enjoying phone things together, but often involves turning one’s attention from device to person. 

And anytime I deem something valuable for my children I am challenged to make it all the more valuable for myself.

I guess it’s another spiritual practice to add to the list.  Being aware of where we are turning our attention.  A spiritual practice with economic implications.