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Over the last three years the phrases FOMO has entered our vocabulary in response to modern technology. ‘Fear Of Missing Out’ is defined as a social anxiety that drives people towards a psychological dependence upon technology, such as continually checking their social media for fear of, well, missing out. Unfortunately, FOMO can lead to ‘ROTI’. ROTI stands for “Rudeness Or Terse Interactions”. You probably will not have heard of that particular acronym before, not least because I made it up 20 seconds ago.
You know the scene all too well; you are in a conversation with a friend and they start texting somebody else, or receiving phone calls – at first you may have felt a little snubbed or awkward, but you got used to it. Or maybe you keep taking calls or texts whilst with someone ‘because it’s urgent’, but feel a little guilty or apologise for doing so. I am guilty of both. Either way, the atmosphere isn’t exactly filled with complete attention to the other person and one of sheer of loving focus.
The Kabbalistic principle of Hesed, Lovingkindness, can be directly applied to our conversations and interactions. God is referred to as ‘Rav Hesed’ (Numbers 14:18) which might be translated as ‘Overflowing Lovingkindness’ or even ‘Rabbi Love’*. Yeah! We could certainly optimise our interactions by focusing on the attribute of Lovingkindness, be it with family, friends, colleagues or clients.
Once the resolve has made to overflow our kindness towards others, there is still the question of how we deal with our own anxiety, especially in the rat-tat-tat gunfire of modern social media seeking our intention. The preceding phrase to Rav Hesed/Rabbi Love, another name of God, is ‘Erech Apayim’ meaning ‘Slow to Anger’ or ‘Taking a deep breath’ (literally ‘long nostrils’!). By engaging our breathing, by slowing down and by truly engaging with the person in front of us, we create the foundation for a powerful and focused connection which will elevate them. Everybody benefits as a result.
Meditation practice: Where do I need to slow down? What is the cost of my hurried thoughts and actions?
Yoga practice: Deepen your breath, calm your mind and then allow a sense of lovingkindness in your practice.
Business/workday application: Where would you benefit from being attentive, giving and focused on clients and colleagues? How could you positively contribute towards others?
*’Rabbi Love’ translation courtesy of Rabbi Dr Raphael Zarum esq.