Monday, May 30, 2011

Ironic, Isn't It?

Just the other day, I was writing about the Internet and how it is being edited, without our knowledge or consent, and I've been thinking more about that and wondering where it will all lead us.

This morning, my daily consideration was this:

"The challenge of our times is to rebuild connection in our lives by reaching out to others and by being part of something larger than ourselves."
~ Edward M. Hallowell

The irony was clearly pointed out to me, that in this age of information and access, we seem to be more and more isolated. With all the tools at our disposal that makes information instantaneous, we seem to know less and less about those individuals right next to us.

We come and go and wave at our neighbors in passing. We smile, ask, "How are you?" But, we generally don't wait for an extensive answer as we have our car door open and one foot already inside the door. We've learned to be brief in our responses to questions that are polite but not being asked with genuine interest.

Email makes it easier to chat someone up or hit an individual with what I call, 'drive-by communications.' But we don't seem to extend ourselves into anything in-depth anymore. We've become lazy. Or indifferent. Or exhausted. Or overwhelmed. Or....

When it comes to each other, we've become isolated. With blogging, we can reach across the globe to each other and often form friendships that are incredibly rewarding. Yet, we no longer take the time to sit on each other's porches in real time with real people. Ironic.

By nature, I am sort of an oxymoron....I love people. I love to listen to them. I love to talk with them. While at the same time, I am also rather a isolationist. I can go days without the itch to leave my home. I am perfectly content to stay inside and watch the world through my windows. It can stay out there while I stay inside. And yet, I can't help but wonder, even though that suites me fine, am I doing my part to stay connected? Am I doing my part to form a sense of community? Probably not.

And, while I share myself freely on my blog and in emails and letters, I know I could do better at calling others. I know I could extend myself more by visiting with others. It's not about time; it's about intent.

In this world of ours...this brave new world of Tweets and Facebook and blogs and Internet and emails and Snail Mail and iPads and, and, and...information and access isn't the issue.

The issue is that it takes energy and commitment to be part of something bigger than ourselves. We must be willing to invest ourselves in real time with open hearts in order to truly contribute.

But, the question remains, in this hectic world that is all too much, all too 24/7 now... what does that look like? How do we do it? Perhaps by opening the door and looking for someone we know who lives close. By standing still and being completely open and present to them, no matter how long the encounter lasts. Maybe by smiling at others we pass in stores or at the mall and taking a moment to look into their eyes. To let that individual, who's name we will never know, understand that we 'saw' them.

Maybe it means just asking the questions of ourselves, "How do I let others know they matter to me when I encounter them? How do I continue to reach to be part of something bigger than myself? Can I try harder to be a better part?"

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka She Who Cares To Be A Part...


Eva Gallant said...

What you say is so true. I, too, am content to stay in my home for days at a time. We do need to connect more with others.

Jules Big Girl Bombshell said...

Beautiful! the words I often think but said so eloquently here! Me..I stepped to volunteer locally AND incorporate my online life in trying to promote that local space!

Joanna Jenkins said...

That is so well said, Holly, and gave me a lot to think about.

I too spend way to much time by myself-- it's easy and I'm comfortable with it but know I need to get out and connect in person more.

I don't Facebook so I'll pick up the phone and call my family-- especially the younger generation. And I'm pretty sure I'll never Tweet-- But I could definitely take more time and make eye contact. I'll be working on that now. Thanks.

Hope you're feeling good and enjoyed the long weekend. xo jj

Alison said...

I hope that one day I can sit on your porch with you! :-)

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