Leo, the building inspector for my village, knows a thing or two about Unplugging and Reconnecting. An Italian immigrant, he grew up in the Italian wine country, where he experienced a simpler way of life.
I met Leo during a road repaving project on my block. When I told him about how the road construction project was forcing neighbors to live a simpler life, albeit only briefly, he immediately appreciated how the benefits might possibly outweigh the inconveniences of having our street inaccessible for a few days.
Leo believes that, like water that flows from the freshest of mountain springs, we’re born to simplicity. The further water flows from its source, the more polluted it becomes. The same is true of our lives, he says. How we choose to maintain the simplicity to which we’re born is up to us.
As might be expected, food – especially savoring a good meal – is very important to Leo and his family. That’s why meal time is Unplug and Reconnect time in Leo’s house.
“We don’t use any technology while we’re eating,” he says. This rule also applies to Leo’s six grandchildren who, he admits, are as attached to their technological gadgets as any of their generation. “We hold onto the old ways at meal times. That’s when we discuss family matters.
Watch the “Road Construction” Video!
Road Construction from Unplug Reconnect on Vimeo.
Once, Leo and his wife were dining out in a restaurant and noticed a couple at the next table. They were “parallel texting” on their cell phones, Leo said. “My wife pointed out to me, ‘I don’t think they’re enjoying the food – their minds are set on whatever they’re texting.’ ”
It’s true. In order to truly enjoy food – to savor a meal or a good wine – one must devote a certain degree of attention and focus on the task. The same could be said about the way we choose to live our lives.
TOMORROW — Dr. Geliebter remembers “Road Construction,” a video classic.