I was watching the news this morning, something I do out of habit more than genuine concern for what is happening in the world. Sad I know. I was struck with amazement when a story ran about a father who left his daughter, less that two years old in a parked car at a train station while he boarded a commuter train to work. He called 911 and told them his baby love was in the car and he was frantically headed back on a train. He pleaded with them to send help, they did. The little girl was found safe.
How is it that we are so distracted as a society that we now leave not just our groceries, briefcases, cell phones, keys, and occasionally pets in the car but our children? What is more important in your life than your child?
I look at society and cringe when I see what is happening all around. The distracted people bump in to each other on the sidewalk without even looking up much less saying excuse me. They ignore loved ones in restaurants. I thought it is all because of cell phones, but clearly it isn’t. What went through this dad’s mind as he was driving to catch his train to work that caused him to check out enough to forget the sweet darling in the back seat? I don’t want to get all hokey pokey the devil made me do it, but I am sure this event is something that makes the evil in this world smile. Devil 1 Human 0.
It is preoccupation rather than distraction. Our minds don’t focus as they used to. We are preoccupied with work, bills, taking care of family, money, what are we doing with grandma, but wait….weren’t our parents preoccupied with the same things? Why is it that so many people are diagnosed with ADD now more than before? Is it that we just didn’t have a name for it then?
No, our life styles have changed in this gilded technology world we now live in. Our focus is on what this or that device can do. Look at a normal person’s calendar, not on a fridge but on their tablet. They have appointments deadlines back to back. They are too busy controlling life with electronics that they are not living it. They are going through the motions of living. That is where the forgetting happens. In that space between looking at the screen and solidifying it in the memory of our brains.
I just hope our children can survive this and forgive us when they are grown ups sitting in therapist offices explaining how their moms and dads ignored them to the point she/he forgot them in the car when they, our most precious possessions, were infants