The attention we seek from each other…

There were about 20 people in the room and we all watched a six-year-old boy come running in and skidded across the room. He knocked down a few glasses of water and they came crashing down on the floor.
He did not get up and stayed down waiting for someone to pick him up. When no one did, he started crying. The action forced someone to do it and at the end he got what he was planning to achieve in the first place. All he wanted was a bit of attention when people in his life were neglecting him. I am afraid that habit never outgrew us as
we grow older. We all need attention from people around us and it does not matter how old we get.
Last week, I had the privilege of being invited to a function. The actions and mannerism of those attened spoke volumes. They all had something in common. Just like the 10-year-old kid who came skidding down the room, they demanded attention in a different way. It was all about “exposure” as one of them put it. They were competing with each other by wits, quick answers or elaborate pauses when they took photos. I could not help thinking that no matter what responsibility they have or money they take home every month as salary, they are all just kids deep inside.
I mentally calculated the net worth of their business operations. The combined wealth they control is over $100 billion. It means people in that room, not more than 30, can make a big difference to Oman’s poor families. Yet they contribute very little to the society. The same society that makes them rich or give them responsible positions to look after the under privileged.
I also watched them clapped for each other when each received an award. In the end, as if it was not enough, they
patted each other on the backs to congratulate one another.
In a way, they needed an attention when they think they cannot get it from the public. When you come to think of it, they all are perched in their high offices most of the week completely isolated from the rest.
In a broader sense, we all thrive for a recognition no matter where we are or what we do. If we don’t get it then we go to a greater length to achieve it. But we all forget the real objective of life. The essence, though it is easy said than done, is not self-centredness but that unselfish act towards other people.
I remember, when I was growing up, a man who lived a few houses away from our home had a small verandah in front of his house. Every afternoon he would sit there and waited for people. He had coffee, fruits and sweets on a big tray on the table. People just stopped over and helped themselves. Some they sat and chatted with him while others just picked something and continued walking.
You may argue that he might have been a lonely man who was seeking attention. But then, if you flip the coin and look the other side of the argument, he was simply doing all that for unselfish reason, just to put a smile on people’s faces. People never thought much of it until one day when he did not turn up at his verandah. They found him dead in kitchen while he was preparing for another afternoon to host the
street people.
Since then, that road was never the same. His death took the heart away from the neighbourhood. There are such examples in every walk of light but the meaning is the same. We are all seeking attention but the method we use are different.