From a recent post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog come s today’s inspiration – “There are millions of interesting things in this world, but they don’t actually become interesting until we devote our attention to them.” (Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi)
When you think about it there are interesting things all around us that we ignore in our day-to-day lives. Sometimes we only pay attention to them if someone makes a television show about them, whether it be interesting buildings in our town or the local flora and fauna that we drive or walk past every day. Somehow they become interesting enough to us to pause and take notice.
Objects can be interesting because of the stories or history that might be behind them. IF you go to our local Milford Historical Museum you can see lots of things from the past in the Milford area, stating with a replica of the interior of a typical log cabin that the first settlers built. You come away amazed at how resourceful they were, even though they had none of our modern conveniences. Believe it or not l, they were able to get by without smart phones or TV’s.
Perhaps the most interesting things that you can focus your attention upon are the people that you encounter as you move thorough life. Just think how many people you pass by each day without having any idea about them, their life and history. What stories you will never hear, if you never take the time to meet them and then pay attention to what they have to say. Objects are great, but the stories behind objects often involve how and why people used them and for what. Once you start paying attention to people you will really find out some interesting things about them and the other people and objects that have been a part of their lives. That can be very interesting.
So, if you are looking for something interesting to do, meet someone new and start paying attention to the story of their life. You will probably get the chance to share your life with them, too; because they will find your life interesting, too (even if you thought it was boring). What makes meeting and talking with other people so interesting is that they have done things and gone to places and had experiences that we haven’t, so they provide new knowledge about things that we may not have even thought about. You would be surprised at the things you can learn from someone whom you may have always seen as a boring, normal person – maybe a quiet and reclusive neighbor or the timid wallflower who never seemed to dance with anyone or perhaps the great uncle that you had never met.
If you don’t take the time and make the effort, you will never know that the little old lady, now crippled and stooped by age and arthritis used to be a ballet dancer with the New York City Ballet or that the humble old man who is now a school crossing guard served in the Viet Nam War and received a Silver Star and the Purple Heart for heroism during an enemy attack. If you don’t pay her any attention you will never get to discuss with the nice little lady at the library desk her vacation trips to the Amazon jungles and her encounter with tribes of natives who are still living as they did centuries ago. Who are these people? They are the people that you past every day without paying any attention to them.
Meet someone new this week and pay enough attention to them to uncover their story, their history the things that make them interesting. They’ll appreciate it and you’ll be enriched by what you might learn about and from them. There is nothing more interesting in this world than those all around you.