My children often get frustrated with me. I suppose this is nothing new. However, their reason seems to set me apart from the crowds and throngs of people coming and going all around me.
You see, I can admit to you that I am a watcher….an observer…a taker inner…..a ponderer. My kids see it as intrusive…as voyeuristic. I see it as scientific. It truly is about perspective, isn’t it?
Compelling….engaging…..the adjectives flow……On to elaboration…..
What does all of this have to do with engagement? Throughout all of this observation, there is one prevailing behavior I can’t help but point out…….lack of engagement. Just this morning, my husband and I headed out to the local coffee shop. At once, this shop is a place where there is a mix of young and old, athletic and less so, professionals, vacationers and students. Bringing along my book, with intentions of enjoying a few pages along with the aromas and sounds of busyness all around us, I didn’t even pull it out of my bag.
The people coming and going took my attention from my intention. I watched as my charming husband stood and waited for a couple of cute college age girls standing in front of the creamer station and chatter back and forth, while looking at their phones. They were unaware of that man standing roughly three feet from them awaiting his turn, quietly. They weren’t partaking of the station, just blocking him from forward movement. He waited. After more than 2 minutes, one finally looked up. I watched, expecting her to apologize and abruptly step aside. But, no, she simply looked back at her phone, took a sip of her drink and began walking toward the door with her cohort following her steps without looking up. There was no interaction with that beautiful man. He would have said something witty and charming to them that would have caused them to stop for just a moment and think. His disarming smile would have caused them to catch their breath and then, perhaps giggle about it afterward. They missed out. They had a chance of a lifetime right there but didn’t get to capture it. They were robbed and they don’t even know it.
You see why I didn’t open my book, don’t you? That moment was just the first of many I witnessed over the next 30 minute period from my little stool at the coffee shop. I watched a world unfolding that I am not comfortable in. I watched as young and old, professional and maybe not so professional, all sharing in one common behavior…….disengagement.