I was standing in line at the bank and the man in front of me in line was on his cell phone. When the teller called him up to her window he remained on the phone and gently shoved his paperwork to her - not stopping to acknowledge her or have any conversation. She methodically took care of his banking business and gently moved the papers and some money back toward him. He grabbed his belongings and headed out the door. During my turn, the teller and I had a polite conversation about people and their rudeness, she took care of my banking business and I was on my way. I needed to stop at the grocery store behind the bank and left my car at the bank and walked over to the store. I was surprised to see the man from the bank walking to the store in front of me - but not surprised to see that his cell phone was still attached to his ear. I was pretty sure the cashier in the grocery store was going to receive the same treatment from him that the bank teller had experienced. I honestly don't think he realized what he was doing and if he did - would he even care? I like to think so.
I have noticed this doing business at a number of places. On another day at the local department store I watched as the cashier rang up a customer's merchandise and the customer remained on her cell phone the entire time. When it was my turn, I asked the cashier if it bothered him. "Oh", he replied "it happens all the time, I've gotten used to it". To me, it is so sad that this is something we have gotten used to. It is easy to change. We get what we allow.
I am amazed at the stories and issues in the Dear Abby column of what frantic or frustrated people write in to for help. Abby frequently responds with, "it will stop when you stop allowing it".
I think it is important to acknowledge everyone in my yoga classes. Whether it is with a smile or a nod or a touch to adjust their pose, or calling out their name - I like to let everyone know I see them and know they are there. I notice when they are missing as many have their favorite spot and you can see when it is empty. I know that I can do better with this and as I write I am committing to this challenge. I don't want people to feel like I missed that they were there or was so busy with other people that I didn't take the time to acknowledge their presence.
There is all this buzz about the present moment and being present in the moment and I agree with it totally. But I would like to add an addendum - acknowledge the presence of those being present in the moment with you - be it with a smile, a nod, a conversation or a touch.