No generation of people has had more things available to get in the means of finding excellence at the present time. We’re so busy and distracted by our lifestyle we are never in the present time. We’re always somewhere else.
Are we there?
When we are at work, we’re considering dinner. At dinner we’re considering the game tomorrow. On vacation, we’re considering work. Watching TV we’re considering vacation. Our mobile phones and iPods and game channels all create a pseudo-reality around us and take our focus away from where we are and what we’re doing. On the exercise bicycle we’re distracted by earphones and TV screens so our minds are pumped from our bodies. We talk to our kids like things at a distance, and are guided by experts to spend time for family meetings and get together. Should I want an agenda to speak with my children about anything?
The art of doing
I was in line to get a sandwich once I experienced excellence in person in a very visceral way now. It reminded me to find link in each and every second to what’s happening, to turn off the chatter and the eye traps that divert the senses. The great woman at the counter in our school cafeteria wasn’t very well educated, nor really polished in appearance. She had been surrounded by movers and shakers of higher education studying deep, deep theory. They had been so caught up in believing elsewhere they had no opportunity to see her and the quality of her work. She was eager to please and was dedicated to giving the best customer service she could offer. She had been fully engaged and committed to her job. She knew what questions to ask and wasted neither words or movement in preparing sandwiches.
Her ability and economy of movement were art in motion. Not wanting to participate with a part of the great unwashed, the women in line in front of me made it a point to blurt out their arrangement in one complex thought-paragraph, fighting to have their words in edgewise so the lady wouldn’t have a chance to intrude in their head space. They could not wait to return to their conversation. The sandwich maker was un-fazed and was ideal in producing their sandwiches that they took with no hint of acknowledging they just shared space and time with another human being. They never saw her.
When it was my turn, she had the chance to ask me each questions she wanted to inquire. I let her guide me through our process of constructing a sandwich together. When it was completed I thanked her and remarked that she had done one heck of a job in this lunch hour insanity and that I appreciated her services. We shared a grin. I never loved a sandwich as much as I did this day. I turned off the track, unhooked the phone, and only ate the sandwich and attended every bite and taste. The wonderful woman in the sandwich shop reminded me today about where to locate excellence in the entire world. It’s all around you, when you will look. Where’s your excellence? How can you say it everyday and in every way? Are you open to it in the here and now or are you likely to get it tomorrow or wherever else your attention has wandered?