Take Time to Notice

There are many plausible answers to the question of what people did before smartphones. Perhaps people carried print newspapers around. Maybe it was more common to talk to the stranger sitting next to you. But certainly, people had to take in their surroundings more. Phones, with their ability to transport you to other worlds, want to convince you that the one you’re stuck in doesn’t have anything worth paying attention to. But through my journaling, I realized something: We’re shoulder to shoulder with many universes; countless lives, hopes, dreams and fears as complicated as our own, all clustered in the same crowded shops, train cars and sidewalks. Why ignore all that?

— Anna Kodé, “Stop Ignoring All the Mundane Miracles in Your Life,” New York Times, January 17, 2024, https://www.nytimes.com/2024/01/17/magazine/observation-journaling.html.