Limited Personal Awareness is Like Limited Access Highways

Limited access highways are generally a boon to travelers who want to drive from point A to point B without any interest in the points between.  It makes the destination the sole reason for the trip.  Well isn't that the purpose of traveling, to reach a destination?  Of course, but there's often so much worth seeing between A and B, so much we miss by isolating ourselves on these strips of concrete and asphalt that take us through an area rather than into and out of it.

On my twice yearly trips to the Outer Banks, I eagerly anticipate the point in Delaware where I leave the sameness of these tracks and can enjoy the traverse south through the Delmarva Peninsula to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.  Another short stretch around Norfolk and I'm free of limited access for the remainder of the trip. I get to see places, not highway signs advertising them.

Our personal electronics yield a similar experience in the sense that they provide us a way through our day rather than into and out of it.  Living in a college town, I get to observe the way young folks operate, and what I see is ear buds, headphones, thumbs flying on cellphone keypads, and eyes glued to tiny screens.  I see joggers exercising on our quiet town road with wires from their ears to devices strapped to their arms, people walking in the village talking on cell phones, and a couple of nights ago a young woman with headphones on riding a bike down the middle of our busy Main Street.

It seems like people are so busy going through places that they miss being in them.  I wonder if they will look back on their lives and think about what they missed?