I saw some kids living in Sandy-ravaged New Jersey interviewed by reporters the other day, and their thoughts were interesting. Several spoke of their new-found appreciation for what is really important in life, ie. not their “things”, but instead people they love. One way to move on from tragedies is to focus on the gifts it can bring. Gratitude is a great healer.
The teens also talked about having to live without their technologies for several days, and they all were pleasantly surprised at how much more they enjoyed being outside and untethered from phones and Facebook.
I am running a weekend retreat for high school kids this weekend, and we have every teen give their phones to their parents at the check-in table. Many act as though they are giving up their crack. But 22 years of experience running these retreats tells me that they will enjoy the effects of being unhooked from all the noise and distractions for a few days. They will be more mindful, in the moment, and more deeply engaged in conversations. They will leave the retreat feeling more deeply connected to each other too. And they will feel more relaxed and refreshed.
Don’t let it take a hurricane to make you appreciate your loved ones and to find more quiet moments for connecting with others and with yourself.