The boy and spiderweb

Concentrate on what is essential, nothing lasts.

Busy people running in circles, fail to see the essential in life.

Busy people running in circles, fail to see the essential in life.

As I sat in Colchester Castle Park I noticed a 3-year-old boy and his mother passing by. The boy in delight pointed to a spiderweb, but his mother busy with a smartphone ignored the boy.  Many times the boy mentioned the spiderweb, and each time the mother ignored him.

Forty years from now I doubt mother or son will remember this spiderweb incident that I record.  I doubt even if the mother will remember what it was she was doing on her smartphone at the time.  It could be that the mother was dealing with an important matter on her smartphone when her son drew her attention to the spiderweb, but often as is the case with smartphones it was a trivial issue.  What matters was an opportunity lost where mother and son could have shared a magical moment of delight in a spiderweb, a moment that could have stayed with the mother as a magical memory into old age.

Impermanence is a fact of life, nothing lasts, thus the smallest moments shared like between that mother and son become like treasure, sadly wasted to worthless distractions such as Facebook updates via smartphone.

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10 responses to “The boy and spiderweb

  1. I totally agree with you. These days mothers pick up their children from Nursery with their phone glued on. No hello, no kiss, … is the phone really more important than your children? The bonding moments between mother and child are lost and there could be so many to be treasured. Shame as parent and child loose out. ( In our local school we are banning phones now inside adn hopefully there wil be more communication again). Fantastic observation and post!

    • I see this separation of self with everyone and nature all the time in society. I am glad spaces are being created free of the disconnecting influences of these phones such as your school.

  2. Beautiful Alex. Your post reminds me of a quote by Peter Matthiessen:

    “When we are mired in the relative world, never lifting our gaze to the mystery, our life is stunted, incomplete; we are filled with yearning for that paradise that is lost when, as young children, we replace it with words and ideas and abstractions- such as merit, such as past, present, and future- our direct, spontaneous experience of the thing itself, in the beauty and precision of this present moment.”

    –Peter Matthiessen

  3. I see this so often in the park and bar… Dad, Dad, Dad, only to be ignored. Adults don’t have time for their kids any more. It is part of the destruction of the fabric of society.

    AV

  4. This so true. The electronics is stealing everyone’s attention. It’s the children who are losing. Sad.

  5. [ Smiles ] Alex, my method would have been somewhat unorthodox; I would have done this:
    I would have given the child my undivided attention and since I have an Android smartphone, I would have allowed “Google Now” to read aloud information pertaining to the spiderweb for the child to hear; that way, the child and I would both learn something from that rather positive experience.

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