Thursday, January 30, 2014

Interdependence

Let's face it. In most of life we really are interdependent. We need each other. Staunch independence is an illusion, but heavy dependence isn't healthy, either. The only position of long-term strength is interdependence: win/win.                                                                                                                                 ---Greg Anderson


We are all interdependent.  Despite what you think, in the grand scheme of life we are all interconnected.  I truly believe that in some way that everything we do can effect someone thousands of miles away from us.  We all create these ripples in the world that can have a far reaching effect.  Without acknowledging this interdependence we are lying to each other. From the big things to the little things we need each other in order to survive. So now that I told you that, let's really act like we are interconnected.

I have long said that technology is both a blessing and a curse.  Technology has allowed us to have access to information quicker and easier.  We are able to connect with people across countries and time zones.  It is easy to find a friend from high school or even middle school (I am actually Facebook friends with most of them).  Through Twitter we can reach out to our favorite celebrities or even just an author who's article we enjoyed reading.  Instagram allows us to view both funny and intimate pictures of friends and those who we admire from a far.  So that's the blessing...

The curse is that we are more far apart than ever.  When is the last time you sent someone a letter?  Or maybe even a card other than for Christmas?  I can remember the time when we only had one telephone line in the house that would not work when we were using the dial up internet.  Now most people use wi fi and have no land line because everyone has their own cell phone, maybe more than one.  After relishing in the days of talking to a guy for hours I now slightly cringe when I see that someone is calling me.  I have become a habitually texter.

I feel that this ability to be arms-length available has hampered the effectiveness of our interconnectedness.  It is easy to not know what our neighbors look like, much less what their names are.  They days off holding the door for one another are few and far between.  And saying please and thank you now seems like a gesture from the 1800s.  We lack compassion.  We lack concern.  We lack a care in the world past Justin Beiber's newest arrest and whether Beyonce is too sexy.  What happened to "It Takes a Village"?  Or neighborhood block parties?  And helping old ladies cross the street?  Are we too wrapped up with ourselves to stop and realize our role as a small cog in a huge human network?

So what can we do to reclaim our interdependence?  One PUT DOWN YOUR PHONE.  Well don't put it down if you are reading my post from your phone, just wait until after.  What else?  Volunteer.  Work with kids, homeless, animals, whatever you have a passion about.  Doing this will help you to connect with us and any kind of service is usually humbling and puts your life in perspective.  Ok now pick your phone back up.  Call someone instead of text them and asking them how they are doing, and really mean it.  Read an article about something going on far away from you.  So this is only a start, but I encourage you to get connected again with society.  Like it or not everything we do or don't do indirectly affects someone else.  I am positive that small changes will eventually make a big difference.

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