Shining like the sun.

I guess I can be counted in the group "millennials". I feel like a lot of people say that word like it leaves a bad taste in their mouth, but I think we have to embrace and move forward with any generation.

Anyways. I was having lunch with a nice religious sister and a priest (as one does when one works at a seminary), and after lunch, she commented on how impressed she was that I hadn't had my phone out while we were having lunch (in fact, I'd left it up in my office).

This sister works at a college, so most of the people she interacts with are around my age. This helped me to understand why people some times say "millennials" with a bad taste in their mouths.

I will admit my fair share of attachment to my phone. It is something I've been working on for a while. But I also think there is a certain level of human decency that begs you be present to another person, especially if you are having lunch or dinner with them. I won't say that I've never had my phone out while other people are around, but I also won't try to justify my choice to do so. I know it was rude and something that I need to work on, constantly.

And then, I suppose, you add the fact that the two people I was having lunch with were people of some kind of station. Oh, you chose to be celibate and serve me for your whole life, so I can at least put my phone away and listen to what you have to say. I don't know, is my generation so devoid of
respect that we don't get this?

I'm not sure. I'm not sure what the problem is, or what the solution is. I really appreciate my phone, mostly for my GPS because I am a hot mess and wouldn't be able to get anywhere without it. At times, though, I often think of how much simpler life would be without my phone.

I think part of the solution is something I've been thinking about a lot recently. That people are of infinite value. That experiences are so much less important than being with people and loving them and bringing them into the Light. When you view someone as infinitely valuable, infinitely glowing with the light of the World, it becomes a little easier to get off your phone and listen to them.

And isn't the whole reason we are one our phones or computers or whatever because we want to be heard? Don't we just want someone, anyone to listen to the joys, sorrows, love, and experiences that make us human? And we look at our phones for a human interaction, a human experience that cannot be fulfilled.

I would say I'm just as bad as the next person with phones. Just because I succeeded at not bringing my phone with me down to lunch that day, doesn't mean I haven't brought it down with me before. I love to look at my phone when I am bored or waiting. And I suppose I miss interactions that could be fulfilling, challenging, or something better than my last email.

So, millennial or not, you are worth listening to, and so is the person at your lunch table. As Thomas Merton said..."There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun"


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