Musician, rapper, and poet Propaganda realized he wasn't acting present in his relationship with his wife — He was too busy focusing on social media to even really listen to her.
In a spoken word poem presented to a live audience at The Catalyst Conference in 2012, Propaganda opens with the words: "Now, single men, take note," before delving into a memory:
"She talked about some other stuff, which I really don't remember. I was too busy in my head, composing a tweet where I would quote her with some sort of clever hashtag about marriage and about how much I love her, to be paying attention to her at that moment. I think what snapped me back in was the silence, which indicated I was supposed to have some sort of response to whatever she was talking about."
He relayed the story to his father, hoping for sympathy. Instead, he was given some solid advice.
In a powerful anecdote, Propaganda's father tells him we often live life thinking about the past or the future, but not the present. He says one's relationship with time is an important one, and if you're too quick to rush it, or too slow and stifle it, time will slip away.
"She begged me to stop stretching her thin and stuffing her full, and stop being so concerned with the old her and future her. But, love her now." — Propaganda
So, whether you're enthralled by your social media, you think too much about the future, or dwell on the past, remember that living presently is most important.
Otherwise, "you ain't doing anything good, just everything awful."
And that's no way to live.
Listen to "Be Present" below:
Though Propaganda's performance was recorded a few years ago, it's especially relevant today. Our attention spans are wildly affected by the media, our mobile devices and technology as a whole.
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