Photo Credit: matintxo7,

On our family gathering when I was a child, I would get excited whenever my uncle readied his weird looking device with lens. Our family would group itself and curve our best smiles. One. Two. Three. Flash. Captured, the photograph would be added to our family photo album and we’ll look at it from time to time, cherishing the memory of love.

It’s a film camera, the films are limited so every shot has importance. Selfie was nonexistent. Every moment that was captured are not only stored in the film, but etched in the heart.

Today, well, it’s different.

Digital cameras made the film a museum piece. Then the technology migrated to smartphones and tablets. Social media boomed and conquered our consciousness. Photo albums are put to garage. The cloud became the best storage.

Today, it’s rare to find someone who doesn’t have a little camera that can capture a moment whenever he wants to. So the phenomenon began - the capture-it-capture-this-capture-my-best-angle ritual of our generation. We are capturing every moment and we’re enjoying ourselves. And that is good. Very good. But somehow, we forgot something more important than tapping the capture button.

We forget to live in the moment

Capturing the moment with the camera doesn’t guarantee that our soul would also capture it. It’s sad to realize that we got the pictures, but we don’t really experience the moments. And sometimes, we forget to use the best camera in the world, our own eyes. Just like Facebook and other social media can’t facilitate the full human connection that we’re made for, cameras can’t fully capture the moments that deserves to be captured by our hearts.

Before you label me that I’m dead weird. This thought actually came from a Zen teacher. I’m not a Buddhist but I admire the tranquility of their spirit and the way they live in the moment. They are amazed by the people who can’t let go of their past or always hurrying for the future. They laugh at people who take picture of the moment but miss to live in it.

I’m not saying that we must ditch our cameras. Instead, we must let our senses capture the whole moment. Look with eyes fully aware. Hear the melody with ears connected to your heart. Smell the flowers and be in awe of their invisible beauty. Touch it with your presence opened. Capture the moment with the lens of your soul not just with digital lenses.

Focus. Don’t let the megapixels in your camera dictate the clarity of the precious moment in your life. Engrave the moment in you, not just in your SD card.

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