The Proud Culture of Being Half Present
It’s what I overheard a little girl asking her father just now, trying to gain back his attention to play with her, while in a Caribou Coffee Shop in Dubai on a Saturday morning.
He replied softly and with care “Yes dear but not anymore, I promise. I will stop thinking about work today… I will be with you. I promise.” Her genuine joyful smile warmed my heart.
For an hour after that, I went into a journey of memories, reflections and inner light bulbs. I realized the obvious as usual. Being physically present is never the point.
It’s not only about the family and spending quality time with the kids. No, it’s a much wider epidemic. While at work, how many times did a colleague, client or boss wake you up from a moment where you were thinking about your daughter? With your husband, are you thinking about the kids? With your friend, are you planning your afternoon? With yourself, are you worrying about what others think? While listening to your mother, are you thinking about yourself?
The point is, our culture today is a culture of “half presence”. Three ideas come to mind:
1. The Pride: there is a common unspoken pride in being busy
2. FOMO = MOOA: Fearing Of Missing Out is actually Missing Out On All
3. Reduced Productivity at work often comes with Reduced Connectivity at home.
What to do? Be fully present wherever you are. Work Hard. Play Hard. Connect Hard.
It’s not easy today… but you can do it tomorrow.