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Time to pull your eyes away from your screens

Bill Fox

Bill Fox

By Bill Fox/Columnist

In my view, many people are spending way too much time on their cell phones.

A study in Britain mentioned how someone might have more than 500 friends on social media, but may have only five close friends they see in person – if they are lucky. It’s difficult to have real friends when one is spending so much time on their phone.

Look around, don’t you see it everywhere?

That being said, someone sent me the following story:

It had been some time since Tom had seen the old man next door. College, girls, career, and life itself got in the way. Tom had little time to think about the past and often no time to spend with his wife and son. He was working on his future, and nothing could stop him.

Over the phone, his mother said, “Mr. Bell died last night. The funeral is Wednesday. Tom, did you hear me?
“Oh, sorry, Mom. Yes, I heard you. It’s been so long since I thought of him. I’m sorry, but I honestly thought he died years ago,” Tom said

“Well, he didn’t forget you. Every time I saw him he’d ask how you were doing,” she said.

“Okay Mom, I’ll be there for the funeral,” Tom said.

Mr. Bell’s funeral was small. He had no children, and most of his relatives had passed away.
For the reception, they went into their neighbour’s house one last time.

“What’s wrong, Tom?” his mother asked.
“The box is gone,” he said.
“What box?” his mother asked.
“There was a small gold box that he kept locked on top of his desk. I must have asked him a thousand times what was inside. All he’d ever tell me was ‘The thing I value most,'” Tom explained
It was gone. Everything about the house was exactly how Tom remembered it, except for the box. He figured someone from the family must have taken it.
“Now I’ll never know what was so valuable to him,” Tom said.

Returning home from work one day, Tom discovered an old package in the mail. The handwriting was difficult to read, but the return address caught his attention.

“Mr. Ivor Bell” it read. When he ripped open the package, inside was the gold box and an envelope.

“Upon my death, please forward this box and its contents to Tom Peck. It’s the thing I valued most in my life.”

Inside the box, he found a beautiful gold pocket watch.
When he unlatched the cover, he found these words engraved inside.
“Tom, thanks for your time!” – Ivor Bell.
“The thing he valued most was…my time.”
Tom held the watch for a few minutes, then called his office and cleared his appointments for the next two days.
“I need some time to spend with my son,” he said.

Are there people you need to spend more time with? I mean quality time. Recently at a restaurant, I saw a family of five waiting for their order, and every single one them were on their phones.

Some things to think about:
– A smile from you can bring happiness to anyone, even if they don’t like you
– You mean the world to someone
– You are special and unique
– When you think the world has turned its back on you, take a look – you most likely turned your back on the world
– Always remember the compliments you received. Forget about the rude remarks
– Always tell someone how you feel about him or her; you will feel much better when they know and you’ll both be happy
– If you have a great friend, take the time to let them know that they are great

Folks, I’m seriously considering giving up TV for some time, and also Facebook and other social media. Life is too short, and as I get older I realize I’m spending too much on time-wasting activities.

How about you? Will you join me? I’m thinking the month of November would provide a good trial to see how I could better spend my time.

I’d appreciate it if you took the time to please let me know what you think at