Interesting, isn’t it, that when we talk about attention, we speak of paying it?
It’s a rather odd turn of phrase, which suggests that attention has a value (and of this, I’ve no doubt) but also that once you’ve paid it, you no longer actually have it. If I paid you ten dollars, it would be yours rather than mine. What does this mean about the attention you’re giving to this message from me?
Well I’m not sure, but thank you for it in any case. Attention is definitely something that needs to be earned, definitely something never to be taken for granted.
So, in life, what do you get in return for your expenditure of this valuable resource we call attention? I believe you get rather a lot.
Let’s think about what might happen if you went through your day taking no notice of the world around you. Among other things, you’d almost certainly end up wrapped up in your own thoughts which, if you happened to be going through a bad patch, might well be a bad thing.
A lack of awareness of what’s going to be around you today could lead you to either dwell on the past, or to worry about the future – neither of which are necessarily helpful.
Pay attention, however, and you’ll be focused on the present, on the here-and-now, rather than on what’s already gone or what’s still to come.
You might have no money in your pocket, but you do have a certain amount of attention. Spend it wisely and you’re likely to see a real reward. What does this involve? Simply observing – properly – everything you come across during the course of the day.
And thanks again for your attention over the past couple of minutes.