I’m not trying to be a downer here. But sometimes I wonder once you’ve outlived your usefulness to people, whether they even make the effort to see what’s going on in your life.
I do my best to make sure that I am around for those in need. “Dial-A-Dilemma” has become popular. Or people needing to bounce ideas on how to get their stuff together. Yet, when I might need something in return, it almost seems as if answering the phone is bothersome.
And I have a ton of thoughts on this subject. Mainly that technology (ironic, isn’t it that I’m writing about this via technology) has played a huge role in our isolation from our fellow human beings.
I can walk down the street, without my headphones in, and my head up, alert. People on the street in my neighborhood will say hello, will nod their heads and smile, a gentle wave. But as soon as I put my headphones in, it’s almost as if it is the universal sign for “He wants to be left in his small iPod fortress of solitude.” Check.
Or cell phones. Now that everything has caller ID, making a phone call just to talk is a thing of the past. Remember when we used to hear those old contraptions on the wall ring, excited at the prospect of who might be taking time out of their day to remember us, to just pass the time connecting? But now we know instantly who is on the other end of the line, and depending on our grumpiness, we make a conscious choice to not answer it.
I’m not speaking from a “woe-is-me” attitude. I’m speaking from personal experience, as I have done it myself. “You? No….I don’t want to talk to you.” So I’ll let it go to voice mail.
It becomes really easy for us to blame outside distractions…”Oh, I didn’t see it.” Liar. “Oh, I didn’t hear it.” False. “Oh, I wasn’t in the room.” Not true. The real reason is simply, “I’m too selfish to think outside of my world.” It’s sad. But true.
Case in point. There is someone who shall remain nameless, but whenever they say hello, all they do is launch into a litany of complaints about their life, and how much they hate it. Okay, fine. You hate your life. So, rather than do something about it, you wallow in self-pity. Got it. Check.
But when you come to someone and ask them for advice, and then meet E-V-E-R-Y single suggestion they have with, “I can’t do that. That’s not possible,” blah blah blah, then what’s the point? You drive home the point that you really don’t hate your life, you simply hate change. And now that you’ve chosen to get yourself stuck in the perpetual quicksand of emotions that you seem to feel on a constant day-by-day basis, you are trying to grab everyone down into that bottomless pit with you. Misery loves company.
But I don’t. I try to have a smile, an encouraging word, a friendly piece of encouragement, a little joke, whatever. Maybe it’s my naivete, or simply I was handed better tools to equip with life.
That’s not to say my life is all rosy. There are hardships…more than I care to discuss in this blog at this point. Especially considering my name is attached. Maybe if I change my name to something like, ‘Random Person You’ll Never Meet” I’d feel a bit more comfortable discussing all these things.
I’m off topic now. And the topic is, what constitutes a friend anymore? Are we simply content with looking at each other’s Facebook page, and saying, ‘Wow, Susie was at Restaurant X. I feel so much closer to her.” “Wow, Susie is pregnant? Good for her!”
We, as a society, are content to let life pass us by, to see things from afar, and not experience them. And in short, we make our own prisons for ourselves. Prisons of our own failures, our own inadequacies, and our own shortcomings. And it seems that most of society is pretty comfortable with living there.
A pretty rotten way to spend your time, your days, your life.
But, hey, that’s your choice. Mine happens to be to go out and enjoy it. Because it’s not what I’m doing, it’s who I’m doing it with. If we’re shopping for ceramic bathroom tiles, that can be just as much fun as flying an airplane, or driving cross country. All of those things can be what you make of it.
So, what will you make of it? What do you make of your day?
I encourage you to go out there and connect. Actually CONNECT with someone. Take time out of your internet-tethered world to interact with someone. It may make a difference in your life. I know it does in mine.