Don’t you find that no one looks up anymore? This is from my early posts. As you enjoy the tail end of summer, remember to look up and notice who and what is around you.
I was in the grocery store recently with a large number of grocery items. Normally, I’m asked if I found everything okay and how my day is going. Sometimes I get to know the cashier a little better, so that I know that this one is the youngest of six and that one is wearing shorts in the middle of winter because he hasn’t had time to do laundry.
But this time, the cashier didn’t look up. I wouldn’t have minded if he was just intently focused on my grocery items, but instead he was having a very animated conversation with the guy bagging. He and the bagger were shouting loudly at each other about music, something I’m interested in, but they never once bothered to look at me. Even when I started bagging, they kept on arguing about music. (The one thing they could agree on was that nobody should ever do Beatles covers, because they can never do them justice.) The entire time they engaged each other. They never once looked at me.
I surprised myself when I decided to speak up with, “Do you realize that you haven’t looked at or talked to me the entire 15 minutes I’ve been here?”
The guy ringing me up replied, “You could have jumped in.”
“But you didn’t even look at me,” I said shyly, as though I were fighting with a boyfriend and not a cashier I had just met. “It makes me feel invisible.”
The cashier and bagger were embarrassed and hustled me out of the store as quickly as possible. They had no idea what I was talking about, because they are part of the “Look Down” generation. The only reason they weren’t texting was that I’m sure it’s not allowed when you’re bagging.
One of the most important things for all of us to remember is that we need to notice each other. We need to look up. But we don’t anymore.
If you want to find your world stage, a first step is to notice others, so that you and they can feel part of the world. You can’t be on a world stage (or whatever that means to your life) and not acknowledge the people around you.
Here is my favorite spoken word poem, called “Look Up.”