Today, my son and I had the opportunity to drive a friend in to Anchorage to pick up a car. I don’t know this person super well, but an hour and a half car ride helps you get to know a person a little bit better. I am grateful for the opportunity to know him and his life better, to see his view points on current subjects and issues. There was no judgement on either of our parts, only thoughts. It is good to sit down with people and discuss things in this manner. Actually listening to listen. I am grateful for the time to do so, and the opportunity to get to know a friend just a little bit better.
One thing we discussed today was the amount of anger and hate found online, especially in social media. I have been thinking a lot about this as well. I am grateful for the connection that social media has given me to my family far away. I get to know my siblings and their families, cousins, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, all a little better, and feel like I know somewhat of what is going on in their lives and vise versa. But there is so much division and hate circulated as well. We see some of the good, but do we see all the bad. Parents glued to their screens instead of their kids, kids ignoring real people in favor of online chats and likes. People relying on their social media feeds to inform them of what they are to think. I have discussed the search for truth in a different post, but rarely is there any backing to the huge amount of information, good or bad, that is spread through social media.
I believe we need to get back to the basics. Do we know our own neighbors? Some of us need to go even further back to the basics, our own spouse, our kids, our parents or siblings. We may not agree with everything our neighbors do, but if we know them, really take time to see them as human beings, take time to help once in a while. We build relationships of trust that help us be at the very least civilized towards one another, and hopefully more than civilized, maybe even friends. Human relationships and interactions were limited at best for months, and for some almost an entire year. There are so many people who suffered from this lack of human interaction. We are innately social creatures, some more than others, however, and we need that contact in some way or another.
As the world opens back up again, we have the opportunity to start fresh in a way. We have the opportunity to put down our devices. Not totally. Like I said, there are some great things about the technology that we have today to stay connected with family and friends. But we can open our eyes and really see. Choose to see people, the people around us. Choose to interact with the next customer in line, or say hi to the hiker passing by the other way. Sometimes you might get a grumpy, grumbly person. But, more often than not, I have found people to be kind, grateful to have been noticed by someone else, and willing to share a little bit of who they are with me, even if it’s just a smile and a wave as they pass by on the other side of the trail. I am striving to see people better, I hope you take opportunity to as well.