Cats in the Cradle

Another lunch themed column today.  I was having lunch out of town one day last week at a diner after an appointment with a Social Media Client.  

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I sometimes like eating somewhere where I’m anonymous as it gives me an opportunity to eat in peace; which is not to say I don’t enjoy the camaraderie that small town living can bring.  It’s just that sometimes I like to decompress without fear of meeting someone else that I know.


While I was eating a young boy (maybe about 5 years old) sat down with his father.  During the entire lunch, the boy’s father was on the phone.  Meanwhile the young boy is doing his best to get his father’s attention and all I can do is sit by and watch the interplay.


This is a time in his son’s life that he will never get back.
He is teaching his son lessons with each experience.


What keeps flashing in my minds eye is the Harry Chapin song:
Cat’s in the Cradle

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If you don’t know the song, it’s about a father who thinks he is providing resources for his children by constantly remaining busy, but is in actuality forfeiting their childhood by not participating in it.


It was all I could do to keep quiet while watching the young boy keep himself entertained while his father took phone call after phone call.  Is that the lesson he really wants to teach his son?

–That he doesn’t have time for him?
–That he can’t take a half hour at most out of of his day to spend with his son?
–Is what he is discussing so important that it can’t wait until after lunch?


I see this activity more every day as cell phones are becoming ubiquitous, and if I’m honest with myself I’ve participated in this activity as well.  Seeing it with my own eyes shames me and I promised myself that when I’m out with my friends I will do my best to avoid the practice.


How about you?
Have you seen this yourself?  If you have what was your reaction?  Did you want to shake the person talking on the phone while their companion sat by entertaining themselves?
Have you done this?  All the while understanding you providing a teachable moment?


What do you want to teach your friends and family?


Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be positive!
Blessings to you.


Cats in the Cradle

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