The mobile (cell) phone is a ubiquitous part of modern life. I understand the wisdom of carrying a phone for use in an emergency. What I cannot fathom is how some people appear unable to be out of contact with their friends for even a short time.
I see young mothers with little children walking to school and it saddens me that instead of talking to their children they are having animated conversations on the phone.
What lost opportunities! Every day, travelling the same route, small things can be noticed, insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but well worth observing and commenting on – a flower open where there was a bud yesterday, a dog gazing out of a window, a beautiful cat asking to be stroked, birds courting and nesting.
Walking in the forest with the dogs is one of life’s great joys for me but I see people chattering on their phones and paying little attention to their pets or their surroundings. I must admit that before Barry retired he would receive work-related calls while walking and before that, when he was still running regularly, he would even dictate into a small Dictaphone as he ran. The recordings caused some amusement to those who had to use his notes, punctuated with heavy breathing as they were. Now he is free to enjoy the fresh air and watch our beautiful dogs as they gambol and explore and (Labradors, at least) tirelessly retrieve and swim.
I remember my parents constantly pointing things out to my siblings and me. There is always something of interest to be noted. How are children to understand a world greater than themselves if they are not shown it in small ways, every day? Of course they will learn in school but their minds are so much more alive to their surroundings if they are stimulated and knowledge of the natural world assimilated – it’s so easy and interesting to talk to children. Catching up with friends can happen later. Children grow up and leave home and those early years of curiosity and simplicity can never be recalled or reinvented.