Scene 1: “How many devices do we have going?” my sister asked on Saturday as she scanned the five of us with what turned out to be 4 smart phones and one laptop. “I can be as bad as anyone,” she added. “But this just doesn’t seem right.”
Scene 2: Fr. Gabriel, our visiting priest from Nigeria explained on Sunday how bizarre it was from his African perspective to visit the sick in Oakland and see so many cards, and letters from children and grandchildren, yet nobody visiting. On our continent, he told us, this would not be considered loving. Instead, family would be present to their sick.
Both comments shot through to me.
When technology can readily take us away from the here and now, it takes discipline to pay attention. My staff, my kids, my students, my customers are not asking that much when they ask me to see their world through their eyes, rather than be engrossed in my virtual world through my eyes. Technology can surely connect us to others in wonderful ways, yet it also stands to disconnect us from those we are most uniquely capable of working with – those right in our midst.
Beyond this invitation to personally stay present, I think those who lead have the added challenge of shaping the environment for their children, staffs and teams where people are invited, engaged, challenged, and encouraged to stay present, to keep focus, to be right here to
Lead with their best self!