Attention: The Currency of Hope

Foreign Currency and Coins

How much is our attention worth?  Advertisers have quantified it to a degree.  For example, a commercial for this year’s Super Bowl cost approximately 3 million dollars for 30 seconds.  That comes out to $100,000 a second.  Wow.

Our time, our attention is so incredibly valuable, so much more than $100,000 a second.  We choose what we pay our attention too, and how much it’s worth to us.

Paying Attention

It’s interesting that the expression is not borrowing attention or sharing attention.  No, our attention costs us something. Whatever we choose to pay attention to, it means it’s not going to something or someone else.

We as people crave attention.  We want the attention of our parents, our family, our friends, our significant other, even God.

For example, we men have a tendency to do crazy things to get the attention of a woman.  No, we may not have 3 million dollars, or even $100,000.  But we offer our manpride in exchange for just a glance, a smile and God help us if she responds positively to us.  “Wait, you will go out with me?  Oh sweet Jesus yes!”

Hiding in plain sight

There are some people who hide in plain sight.  Meaning, they hide in the crowd to be alone.  They stick out by trying to blend in, all the while hoping for someone’s attention.  I tend to do that.  When I really want to be alone, I go where there are the most people.

What if we paid our attention to those who are overlooked, bullied, hiding in plain sight, broken or hurting?  What would we get in return for our attention?

What if we paid our attention and received a new friend, helped someone in need, brightened someone’s day, or loved someone who felt unlovable?

What do we buy with our attention

Our attention is ours to pay.  I want to stop paying my attention to stuff.  I want to pay my attention to people.  Not to get anything back, but to meet a need, help serve, or just be there.

There is so much injustice and pain in the world.  But we can’t do anything about it until we first pay our attention to it.  So many people in countries around the world, including ours, are being helped because someone paid attention to them, to their plight.

We can do it, our attention is immeasurable, and so many are desperate for just a portion of it.  Our attention is powerful; we can buy so much with it.

I want to buy someone’s pain, someone’s loneliness by paying them my attention.  We can buy someone’s heartache by listening and being a friend.  We can strive to purchase someone’s laughter by finding the humor in life.

We can help restore the world by paying attention.  By doing so, we can leave hope.  For no other reason than to just do good.  The beauty is we choose. What will we buy with our attention today?


[photo by bradipo]
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  • very interesting sir. i think some of us hide in plain sight, because there’s the off hope that someone might see. although by my experience it’s typically only the fellow hiders that do the seeking.

    the economy of attention is equally skewed as the social classes. some are miserly. others verging into deficit spending. i think there has to be a balance, but the balance varies person to person. i don’t think all support has to be two way. rather as long as support comes from somewhere, there is more to give. pay it forward, backward or sideways. or just because. it blows the general public mind.

    and a little attention goes a long way.

    (thanks for the thoughts).

  • I agree, the hiders usually spot those that hide, like how a highlander can sense another highlander (in the movies and the classic t.v. show).

    And your right, a little attention does go a long way. Thanks so much for commenting!

  • “There is so much injustice and pain in the world. But we can’t do anything about it until we first pay our attention to it. So many people in countries around the world, including ours, are being helped because someone paid attention to them, to their plight.”

    Beautifully said! What an interesting post.. it’s amazing how we use phrases like “paying attention” all the time without thinking about what it means when you break it down. Everyone wants to be heard. Giving someone your attention really is a gift… a gift as good as (and in most cases–better than!) any material item…

    You are a wonderful, poetic writer! Keep it up! Best wishes in 2012, my friend :]


  • Hi Allyssa, happy new year and thank you for your insightful comment and kind words. “Giving someone your attention really is a gift”, so so true. Take care and keep shining.

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