Living “unconnected” in Western society is considered pretty rare. But actually, after looking a little deeper, it’s quite a common phenomenon. If we’re being completely honest, it’s not the fast WiFi, social media platforms, or ability to share things instantaneously that connects us; but rather, our raw humanity is what truly connects us–even to the stranger riding next to us on the bus.
We live in an age of “connection,” yet we seem to have lost connection to the very core of our being–our humanity. How have we gotten so caught up and distracted by superficial connection that we have lost the very essence of our being? I feel like we have celebrated abandoning, shaming, and even trying to obliterate the very “imperfections” that make us unique, that make us real, that make us human. Lines are blurred. We will pass the homeless woman on the street, not even acknowledging her existence, yet she has more in common with us than the dog we ran across the street to pet. We seem to willingly sacrifice our tender humanity for this unrealistic idea of perfection that we have created, meanwhile life is flying by, opportunity after opportunity to experience veracious connection, sometimes roaring in our face sometimes whispering in our ear. When we numb this daily, we possess an empty, unfulfilled, surface-level but Instagram-worthy amount of time that we call our life.
That’s a little depressing, and of course this is a generalization. But I think it boils down to fear. This fear is initiated by doubt. Doubt in ourselves and doubt in others. We are afraid of facing our weaknesses and vulnerability, let alone allowing others a glimpse. We are afraid to acknowledge our humanity and how strikingly potent unfiltered connection is. We are afraid to acknowledge the power it has.
“As we learn about others, we learn about ourselves; as we learn about ourselves, we learn anew about others; and when we are open to what we learn about others and ourselves, we change”