We have become experts in the art of multi-tasking; filling every moment with busyness. Just take a seat at your local coffee shop, without your phone or computer and watch what’s going on around you. Realizing that I had just did that this weekend. I decided I would head out for the day without any electronics. I stood at my front door and thought perhaps I would take my phone; after all, if there was an emergency what would I do? I decided to take the risk, in the name of science. And after all, everyone has a phone and if I needed help, I could rest assured, a phone would be present and available.
I felt a bit jarred when I entered my favorite café with just a small wallet. I ordered my hot tea, and sat at a corner table and began to watch the scene unfold. And what I saw was nothing more than the tops of heads; all pointing downward and staring at their tiny screens. No one talking or greeting one another, just a café full of heads. I watched the people in line as they ordered — heads down and not so much as looking up when placing their orders.
That got me thinking about what was missing. An important shared pleasure. Something that has become an exception rather than the standard — eye contact.
It has become wildly under-valued, an enjoyable opportunity overlooked. Making eye contact with those that are serving us and helping us as we go about our business each day is a simple and important way of saying “thank you” without uttering a word. Saying thank you while looking into the eyes of that server or helper with a smile is better than a gratuity shoved into a tip jar. So next time you’re out, spread a little cheer, look up, look at that person, smile and say “thank you”. It will make their day, and bring a smile to your face and theirs. Simple pleasures are meant to be shared.