How To Be Alone in a Group

Wouldn't it be great to enjoy a milkshake with both hands?
Wouldn't it be great to enjoy a milkshake with both hands? (Flickr )

Last Friday night I enjoyed a small bowl of 5-Way Chili at Steak 'N Shake. I didn't know it would be a small bowl but food costs are high and I had a coupon.

My ear buds were in place as I listened to a podcast. It was great to listen to someone talk while I ate. It was almost an experience.

I noticed six kids at a table, each enjoying a milkshake. Not one of them looked old enough to drive, but my daughter doesn't look old enough to drive either. 

There were four girls and two guys. I watched as they slurped and laughed and spoke in a language I didn't understand. It was English, but I think they were speaking in code in case a geezer might have been eavesdropping.

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I must share a cautionary tale about the socialization of today's youth. The group of young people looked like any youth group in America—from any generation—that might have gathered after some activity. Rockwell could have painted the scene.

But somehow, I believe, Rockwell wouldn't have painted the smart phones.

The kids were at the table for over an hour. During that time, their phones didn't touch the table. Thumbs were flying with great skill and certain word abbreviations of their generation. They all laughed as they thumbed.  

I thought for a while they might have been texting about one of the boys at the table. I was paranoid for him. Thumbs raced, and five kids laughed. I was writing my own story at that moment—at what must be happening to the boy. He wasn't really there.

There's a leadership lesson in this story. Wherever you are, be there. Be in more moments.

I saw a restaurant recently with a sign on the front door—"No cell phones allowed." In spite of the fact that the restaurant was empty, I think the sign is instructive.

Wouldn't it be great to enjoy a milkshake and use both hands?

"Jesus answered her, 'Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed. And Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken from her'" (Luke 10:41-42).

Dr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president of the media group at Charisma Media and executive producer of the Charisma Podcast Network. His book, Love Leads: The Spiritual Connection Between Your Relationships and Productivity, is now available.

Leaders, Dr. Greene wants to help you understand the spiritual connection between relationships and productivity. Read his new blog, Love Leads.

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