He might as well have screamed out, “You don’t matter to me. Your existence doesn’t count. You are a nobody.”
We hadn’t had a fight; sometimes we are strangers in elevators or in line at the post office. Sometimes it is people I know in meetings or new acquaintances at dinner.
They all have one thing in common: they are talking or playing on their phones and not engaged in the immediate world around them, including me.
Growing up, I was taught that you respected people by meeting them in the eye, and listening to what they had to say. I had to overcome my adolescent shyness, but it was also a marker of my transition from only caring about myself and my small world, to embracing the children of God who were all around me. Everyone we meet has something to teach us, but we have to be present in the encounter.
A new date that checks messages at dinner doesn’t get a second date. A student who checks messages in meetings strikes me as someone who is insecure. The manager in the workplace can’t be a good leader if she can’t delegate tasks for one hour.
Isn’t it bullying when you don’t recognize and appreciate the wonder of another human being? After all, they just might be Christ. And, I’ll bet you won’t catch him playing on his phone when you’re around.
Blessings, my friend,