Get The Ring: How to Find & Keep the Right One for Life.
Lawrence Kelemen - Part 22
speaking to me, I would say to them — Excuse me, I'm talking to another person right now, I can't speak with you. Just a minute please. — But it's interesting, if I'm speaking to you and in the middle of that my cell phone rings, I'll tell you that you have to wait and I'll answer my cell phone. Why is it that the bell has such priority that it gets to break in on my most intimate moments in the middle of a conversation with somebody else?
I have a friend who went down to South Africa during the period of apartheid, and he was eating at someone's home, and when they finished the first course, in order to call the servants to come and clear the table and bring the second course, the master of the home picked up a bell and rang a bell. And that called the servants in. My friend said he found it revolting. That you should call a human being with a bell? That's disgusting. When he left South Africa and came back to his apartment in New York, arrived in his apartment, put his bags down, wanted to take a shower. He popped into the shower. While he was in the shower the phone rang. He hopped out of the shower, naked, went running across the room towards the phone and about halfway across the room realized that he was acting exactly like those slaves in South Africa. We can be enslaved to technology and it can come to dominate our lives and get in the way of what's really important to us, which is being close to others.
Beyond technology, cell phones, pagers, television sets, computers, all these sorts of things; beyond these things which can get in the way, there are other things which sometimes come between two people who really want to love each other.
For example food. How many times have you been at a table and there's a great conversation going on. And the food is served and suddenly the table goes silent. And both people fall into their plates, devour their food, 15 minutes later they come up for air and have a discussion again. You have to remember that the whole purpose of the food was to create a pleasant environment for the conversation. That was the goal. Sometimes we are so obsessed, so distracted by the chocolate chip cookies that we fail to notice the loving spouse who made them for us.
And there's a deeper way that food sometimes distracts and this is a pathology that I've been seeing more and more often. Often people who don't want closeness, who actually have fear of commitment and fear of intimacy... so they'll use food to even physically distance themselves from others to prevent intimacy. I've seen people who overeat because they know that with an extra six or eight or ten inches of fat on their body they don't have to worry that someone will get close to them. So we have to be concerned with things like food. Are they coming between us and those that we love?
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