School Beat, April 30, 2009

Enjoy the moment

by DOUG HOOGERLAND

Principal, Crestwood Elementary School

 

            Last week I received approximately 400 e-mail messages. I am still trying to get back to everyone. It’s respectful-right?-to get back to someone immediately after a call or message. This is the digital age, and with the digital comes the instant. No more “pony express” for us! We expect Internet service in milliseconds, text message responses in less than 30 seconds, and e-mail responses within the day, if not the hour. We have checklists, to-do lists, sticky notes and Blackberries all helping us keep track of getting it all done, finished, wrapped up. It’s all about the finished product. Call me back. Text me now. Answer your phone because I do not leave messages and I need to talk to you NOW!

            “Now” is the message we get every day. We are failures if we postpone or procrastinate. But what about being here now? What moments are we missing in our real lives, you know, the parts that don’t have buttons or touch screens, the parts of our lives who greet us after a long day or call us to ask us to go on a field trip with their class; the pieces of our day who look into our eyes and read what they see there? What about the people and the moments with them that might never happen if we don’t postpone that e-mail response, or procrastinate a bit out in the back yard?

            One of my recent favorite song lyrics goes likes this, “I have been running so sweaty my whole life, urgent for the finish line, and I have been missing the rapture this whole time of being forever incomplete.” Maybe there is something to that. Perhaps we need to stop running so hard and stand still for a few moments while we let the world stop spinning around us and just BE HERE NOW.

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