I suddenly realized I can’t stop paying attention. I like that in English it is the same verb that goes with ‘respect’ and ‘attention’: you pay them both.
This year this word—attention—chose me. Yes, it was not me choosing the word, but the word chose me, found me, and we are learning about this world together. It has been amazing so far: I realized that any little thing around me deserves attention, and when I start to be more attentive to my relatives, colleagues, students, anyone or anything around me, I notice more and learn more.
I am working in language education. To be precise, I am working with English teachers from various places in the world helping them to either receive initial teaching qualification or continue their professional development. Interesting, that most of the time the biggest compliment, or feedback I receive is ‘thank you for listening to me, for paying attention to my needs as a learner, and as a human’. The most surprising words were something like this: ‘I wish my family could give me as much support as you had done during this training course’. I started to wonder if attention is something that can simply help me and others live a more exciting and fulfilling life, enjoy what we are doing more, love more moments happening around us daily. It is about this very moment, here and now.
As I am writing these words on February 20, my TV is on and Kiev, the capital of my country, is on the screen. You can google and find out various opinions about what is happening there now. What I am trying to do is basically drawing more attention to the people who are there. I have never been in politics, and never expressed my views (nor have I had any strong ones either) but at this very moment all my thoughts and attention go to someone who is able to stop the fire. With my wholehearted attention, I am hoping for this.
I hope that at the time when you are reading this, the world is peaceful. I am wondering if attention in itself can be helpful to become a better person, and therefore help the world to become a better place. I personally would like to see how my ‘attentive’ 2014 is going to help me become a better wife, daughter, sister, professional, peer, runner, photographer, blogger, cook, traveler and dreamer, listener and ‘reflector’, thinker and … human. I have not found anyone on this site with the same word, but never lose hope to have a small attentive, mindful community. Of people who care. Like You.
What or who are you paying attention to?
What or who would you like to draw your attention to?
Is there anything or anyone unusual around you right now?