「 Pay Attention to Your Life
When I drive alone, I just drive. I don’t pay attention to the trees, the birds, people walking on the sidewalks; I just drive, but when my son is in the car that is another story.
Every time I take him to school I hear the excited cry, “Look” during our thirty minute ride. No, we don’t take a different road. We travel the same way every day. Still, my son finds something new to become excited about every time.
He knows I can’t stop when he asks me to, but when I do turn around at a red light or stop sign his eyes become incredibly bright. He really sees the world—the way the sun shines through the trees, the way the birds fly in the sky, the way fire trucks drive, orange cars, the way people walk their dogs.
What does this mean? It means I have to pay attention because he wants me to see all these things, too. I can’t see them as familiar things; I must see them as things that are special at that moment. In other words, I must see the extraordinary in the seemingly ordinary.
We have a saying in English, “You never step in the same river twice” because it is constantly flowing and changing. These car rides remind me that life is also always changing. Every day is new. Sometimes, while rushing around, too busy even to stop for gas, we fail to notice. Sometimes, we act as if we are living the same day over and over again.
When we start to see things as ordinary, we stop experiencing the people on the street, the birds in the sky, the trees and the flowers. We stop listening because we think we already know, and we stop looking because we think we have seen it before. We don’t live in the present because we believe the moment before or after this one was or is more important. 」