Monday, July 23, 2018

Pssst! Look at this!

This is a time when money can be made by getting attention.  I guess there was always that possibility. When Dr. Dulcamara enters the town square in the 1832 opera, The Elixir of Love, he wants to draw a crowd.  He has a trumpeter or two sound a fanfare. I imagine in those days in that town, such a sound would interest people in finding out what was going on.

But these days, in many places, a fanfare would be unheard.  Citizens are wearing earphones or buds that are already playing in their ears.  We have smartphones set to vibrate in our pockets so we can be alerted to the latest text from someone.  More and more companies, organizations, causes and campaigns would like to vibrate us to pay attention to their cause, their opinion, their product.  

When you are walking down the street, they want you to be thinking about their message, their project, their idea.  But there are so many of "them", that you can't pay attention to all the seekers for your focus. We quickly reach a useless infinity when we try to have special notices of special messages about special events that are arranged to get and keep our attention.  One way I find what is important among the many messages sent me is to look for a person, a person I know, have met and talked to. I don't count a Nigerian prince who will give me a cut of his fabulous fortune if I put his large sum of money in my bank account.  I am not quite to the point where I tell my computer to block all messages except from someone in my contacts but I am getting close.

I not only have a ton of calls and nuges to look here or pay attention to that, I have more associations and questions and ideas of my own than I can attend to.  I have as much internal clamor as I do external. Whether they come from my mind or my surroundings, I often have to buckle down and shut out calls to pay attention or play a game or have a snack.  I often need to pinch myself and lock onto what I should be paying attention to, even if I may miss a wonderful sight or a valuable idea.

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