We spend time every day in the company of others, but without explicit communication. Our lives unfold socially but silently, but even in the silence, good experiences get better and bad experiences get worse.
Think of the last time you showed up to meet friends at a cool new restaurant and beat them there. Did you check out the decor? People watch? Peruse the menu? Maybe, but as soon as the tiniest bit of social anxiety or discomfort creeps in, out comes the iPhone...
As a young parent in today's world, I worry about over-doing it and I worry about under-doing it, constantly walking a tightrope of give and take... so I thought I'd examine what it means to actually "spoil a child."
Claudia is a music therapist who works with children with disabilities. She guides them in the knowledge of musical instruments by teaching them to play together in an orchestra, creating a perfect harmony of sounds and putting together a marvelous sequence of chords.
When we no longer hold our partner responsible for the fulfillment of our needs, everything changes. This is easier said than done, but it is perhaps the single most important thing we can do to insure that our relationship will be mutually satisfying.
Wonder doesn't disappear on its own. We let it go. And we don't have to. In fact, our creativity, imagination and well-being thrive on a degree of being delighted, amused and in awe of the world around us.
This phenomenon isn't unique to New York, of course. But with so many more people crammed into so much less space, I decided to meditate on the lives I sampled -- and to renew a few promises to myself.
The shelf life of most intense feelings is quite short. A strong feeling, which is not fed by our thoughts about it, can pass through us in a rather short time. It is our mind that, counter-intuitively, does not want us to let go of our pain.
Jealousy can be lots of things. It can be a show of how much you love someone and desire to protect them. It can also be a horrid thing where you envelop them instead of trusting them and letting them grow into themselves.
It's convenient for those of us who can remember a time when there were no distracting digital devices clamoring for our attention to place the blame for shortened attention spans squarely on the shoulders of technology. But that doesn't really get us anywhere, does it?
The simple act of acknowledging someone by name fuels them -- tasks on the lower level are done with more enthusiasm, with more precision, with greater desire for accuracy, with a refusal to disappoint. It's an exchange of value.
Severe, debilitating anxiety has afflicted Scott Stossel his entire life, a life he describes in his morbidly fascinating new memoir, My Age of Anxiety. His case may be especially tormenting, but he is far from alone in this plight.