My wife and I took friends from out of town to Target. The women were in power shopping mold. Mindful of the giving experiment I strolled around ready to give be it a smile, compliment, aid, or even a pause to let someone in a rush be on their way, when I found myself wondering what I was going to do to pass the time.
How quickly my thoughts had turned to myself. Not that thinking about what to do with myself is necessarily bad, but it’s not the same as maintaining thoughtful engagement with the world. It amazed me the way a normal thought like that could be a form of self-absorption. It got me thinking about other normal ways of thinking that could lead to self-absorption.
I could have just as easily thought of work, which would seem like an act of productivity rather than avoidance, but it would have been avoidance. How often did I use work as a way to avoid an uncomfortable situation or conversation? That question led to the question; how often has my mind wandered instead of being present to what was happening before me? Focusing on giving made me realize how evasive my mind could be to the present moment.