Do You Live Life Skimming?

Do You Live Life Skimming?

Over a course of several years I have seen this older man in Del Taco sitting there deeply concentrating over piles of newspapers, carefully underlining words and sentences of each page he turned. I watched with curiosity what he was doing while I stood in line to order the Tuesday taco special for my aging mom. I could see his face glow with contentment. It was easy to observe he was having much enjoyment. At first I thought he was a college professor doing research. Then a couple weeks later I thought he was a homeless man passing the time away in the warm comfort of the small dining area. Then I thought he had Alzheimer’s or was an autistic savant.

One day I mustered the courage to walk up to his table and ask why are you underlining words? He looked up with a warm smile. And said, he was trying to find meaning.

We engaging in a short but in-depth exchange about how people just skim over things and fashion their views in a casual unthinking way. In an intellectual philosophical mind melt I hypothetically contemplated – Are views a byproduct of a couple words we read or hear that resonate some innate meaning to us? What is the depth and consistency of our views? How do we know if our views are fact, real or just a fabrication of something we think we should believe or want to believe? Are views a part of us finding community and feeling a sense of unity? My mind was spinning with thoughts, notions and theories.

Then guy said he was deep reading. He explained deep reading is the active process of thoughtful and deliberate reading carried out to enhance one’s comprehension and enjoyment of a text. Underling words helps to slow down the reading process giving space time to absorb and process. It triggered me to think that most people do not really read just as we often have selective listening. Do we train our eyes and ears to find only those things that we want to see and hear. Are we blinded to life around us by what we been educated, feel or want or think we should believe? Do most of us skim through life? Is there a greater element, purpose or meaning if we stop to underline each minute, each hour, each day to explore deeply what has occurred?

~ Coach Nick – Discovery Walkabout