Last week my friend invited me last-minute to go to a concert with her. It was a band I knew, but not all that well; and a late night early in the week isn't ideal.
However, it's a friend whom I cherish, and wish I spent more time with. So the possibility of a fun evening together made for an easy answer. Definitely I would go!
We met up in the city after work (from our opposite directions), grabbed a quick bite and headed to the show.
It was fantastic. Worth the price, and the lack of sleep (that's what coffees for, after all!). Because we were making memories.
Memories are important to us. We've both had circumstances where life has intervened unexpectedly, and we wish we'd had more memories. Time with loved ones, with intentional interaction, is important.
We don't always get pictures of our time together. (We almost never do, to be honest!) We prefer to be present without screens between us.
So we were impressed when, during the concert, the lead singer asked the audience to put away their phones and tablets for just one song. To not record what was happening, but to live it.
That's a bold request to make of 50,000 people who have paid a lot of money to be there. Though most of us are not professional photographers, we didn't have professional equipment, and we certainly were not getting the best views - yet so many were seeing the concert through their screens.
From my vantage point, people put down the phones. They focused on the here and now, not what they could show friends on social media.
They were present. They were making memories.
And what a gift; what an example. What a chance to model that the best way to live life is completely, engaging with the people they care about, telling those people that they are loved, and benefitting from whatever the circumstances are.
Will I continue to take the occasional picture on my cell phone? Absolutely - but as a secondary reality, knowing that pictures can never recreate the moment.
Will I continue to be intentional to make as many memories as possible, knowing they will stay with me forever? Absolutely.