Does this constant connection enrich and enlighten, or distract and create dissatisfaction, or some measure in between? I fear it is all happening much too fast. For aeons humanity has evolved as analog creatures in an analog world but in the short space of one generation we are transitioning to the digital. It entertains, distracts, gives us instant gratification, makes our lives easier and much more. Yet…for all that it does there is SO much disconnect.
Inequality in America is the greatest it has been since 1929, the capital is divided and impotent at best, totally bought and sold at worst with 70% of Americans feeling like we’re heading in the wrong direction. Climate change and US debt are extreme critical threats but the politicians are concerned with what will happen next election NOT with coming generations. Often we don’t even know where our food comes from which averages a 1200 mile trip to your plate! Community involvement is down and church attendance is alarming. We are losing important connections.
Over the last twenty years rates of serious mental illness have increased by two and a half times for adults and alarmingly have had a thirty-five fold increase among children! Obviously something is happening here and we don’t know what it is. Yet with all the amazing technological advances I would hope for some progress in the way of emotional well being which is just not happening in most cases.
The most meaningful, fulfilling and memorable moments in my life are those of deep connection. Can that be enhanced by technology? Of course! But as much as I enjoy playing Borderlands 2 online with my friends it just cannot compare to the simple yet powerful moments. Some that enrich my life and truly make it worth living:
- staying up late on Saturday nights cuddling and talking with my best friend about everything from future plans and climate change to movies and kitty cats
- at my work (middle school counselor) when I am able to really help a student and show that there is at least one person that sincerely cares for them
- those moments at family occasions that you never want to end where you feel at peace and completely accepted
- rare divine moments when you commune with God and on some spiritual level know His/Her presence
- after an argument/disagreement with a friend or family member when you realize how important that person is to you and set aside your pride and reconcile
- trees, go touch a tree and think about the connection you have. They provide oxygen and you provide CO2. Breathe it in and see the interconnection of all life
- moments of silence to sit in sunlight and just think...soaking up some vitamin D
- leisurely walks holding hands
It is critical that we find those moments to unplug and connect to life and loved ones around you. Feed your soul with deep connection then when you go back to the hectic pace of everyday life you will have an enlightened perspective to reference what really is important.
Next time Oscar movie thoughts...