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Be in the present to be happy

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The other day in the afternoon I witnessed a mother who had come to accompany her daughter who was about five years old from the school bus stop to their house.

When the bus came, the mother was standing but was talking to someone on the mobile phone, and when the daughter got off the bus, took the school bag from the daughter, grabbed her hand and started walking, and while she was walking, she was talking, to what I could gather a friend, for she was smiling and laughing continuously.

Soon, I observed that the daughter had an expression of fear on her face. I was expecting her to be smiling for she was holding on to the hand of her mother. On closer observation, I realized that the mother was too engrossed and was not sensitive enough to the fact that her daughter being small, can not walk as fast as the mother, for the mother was taking adult steps.

Looking at the sight of a mother, who was doing her duty, but was not being sensitive to her daughter. Often many of us do the same; we take on our responsibilities as a duty, and while doing it, fail to be sensitive to doing it well enough so we are able to comfort the person whom we are serving.

I feel that the mother should have cut the conversation short, when she saw the school bus arrive, and should have given her daughter undivided attention and should have walked at the pace of  her daughter. Packing too many things in one’s lives, results in keeping happiness away.

Technology should be used to enhance our lives, not to entrap it. At home, often we get so involved with television that even while having our meals, we are only partially present with our family members. I was once told by a dietician that people who watch television while having their meals, tend to eat more, as they are not able to taste the food very well, for their attention is scattered, so they end up eating more, to attain a level of satisfaction. Sadly, many of us are living in families who are overweight and lonely.

To be happy, we need to be in the present moment, especially when we are with our family. Giving undivided attention to our family members, especially during meal times will ensure that we will also receive their undivided attention, thus leading to better family bonds. There is a common saying, “a family that eats together, stays together.”

I remember, once when I was in Japan, I saw a Japanese mother was holding on to the hand of her young son, who may have been four at the time. The son was wearing a protective head gear. The mother was walking at her own pace, and holding on to her son’s hand, while she was walking, the son was skating and they both were paying close attention to each other, the bonding was great and they were walking and skating  at the same pace and in great harmony.

I wish each and every one of us to be there, living with undivided attention, moment to moment, thus creating a happy momentum in our lives, and in the lives of others.