When I was a child in Michigan people came and went in each others homes. Neighbors knew each other, spent time with each other, kept an eye on each others children and it was acceptable to discipline someone else’s child. These days there are rare places where people feel safe leaving their doors unlocked. Most parents don’t want their children corrected by someone else even if it means their safety. Neighbors rarely even know each others names let alone have any conversation or socializing,
Many people, maybe even most, have built up walls, invisible boundaries around themselves even within their friendships. Some people are open to their friends just dropping by to say hello, maybe have a cup of coffee and chat, but those friends never have the time, or more likely don’t take the time for such visits. Everyone is too busy with busy stuff these days to truly nurture their relationships with family and friends. Now people are wrapped up in their own worlds. Mind you, I am not talking about people who I know have REALLY busy lives, especially if they have lots of children. The other problem is, we get so tired and stressed with things we have to deal with in this life that we relish quiet down time.
So, how do we connect at all these days? Who do we connect with…and why? I read a piece where the author talked about connecting, being “connected.” He talked about the human need to be connected, even if only through the internet! I am going to say “Oh yes.”
Isn’t it interesting that I use the word “talk” when referring to an editor’s article about being connected? But isn’t that what it’s about? Connecting is a conversation between people…whether it is speaking with your mouth, or via the written words.
For many people, the internet – emails, instant messaging, blogs, and tweets are the main sources for shut-ins, lonely singles (old and young), people who just want to “be connected” somehow. It is also huge among those who are married. Many parents connect with other parents about issues with children, finances, entertainment, house remodeling, cooking, etc. The list goes on and on.
I can only truly speak for myself here, my thoughts and feelings about the desire to be connected.
I love to socialize, to communicate with others, to be connected. However, I am also joyful in drawing wonderful people into my life, and having the ability to let go of anyone who is negative, who has any tendency to make me feel less than joyful. I have been truly blessed, especially in the last few years to have many joyful spirits come into my life…whether temporarily or on a more permanent basis.
The greatest joy of each city I have lived during my life, so far, are the relationships I’ve made. Even though I don’t live in those cities any longer, the friendships have held. Some of the communications may be scattered throughout the year, and a few may only be at Christmas and birthdays with updates on our lives…but they remain true .
Thank God for those who created the internet, for email, which allows friends, family, and acquaintances to keep in touch and up-to-date with each other.
My computer does not shout “you’ve got mail,” but you can be sure I love the sound it does make when one arrives in my IN box. Sad part of this is that we communicate with our nearby friends more by email that getting up off our behinds and walking down the street, or take a drive to meet each other someplace to have a face to face conversation. Yet, at least through the technology of our cell phones and computers it helps us to feel we are not alone. I think that is why so many people are constantly on their cell phones, so they can feel connected.
I found a small city in South Carolina, which is a perfect day trip from where I live, and not only does it have a beautiful small town feel to its downtown area, with a river running through it and a park at the river below the falls, but it has the consistently friendliest people to strangers I have ever met. It is a place I can go to walk, sit by the river and its little water fall, stop to visit a few friends I’ve made, get a coffee or bite to eat, be at peace and whether in conversation with someone or not I feel connected.
The greatest constant unconditional connection I do have is my relationship with God. He is always there to listen and he connects with me all day, everyday, through a variety of ways…the refreshing raindrops that touch me when it rains, the sun warming me and giving me light, a smile from someone, the sound of the birds singing, a waterfall, and so much more.
Being connected is important to all of us…may you all be blessed with an open heart, to being truly connected.