The Distance We Keep

“We are all so much together but we are all dying of loneliness”

                                                                                              -Dr. Albert Scheiwtzer

 

Consider our twenty-first century lifestyle– how we secure ourselves against unwelcome personal invasion. Many of us live in high-rise apartments where we meet the neighbors once a month in the lobby. Others reside in the suburbs, surrounded by high fences and security systems. We have those who have private telephone numbers and guard dogs at the gate. We consciously eliminate the possibility of any unhappy encounters– but we have managed to cut out a lot of the happy ones too.

 We spend couple of hours a day in traffic jams– isolated. We talk to computers; we don’t get to see people; we send faxes, emails, texts, and any other form of electronic media. Shopping malls have replaced the corner stone. TV dinners have replaced the family dinner– or we simply eat at the refrigerator.

When we go to public places, we take our blank stares. The blank look says, “I don’t know you, there’s nothing happening in my head, don’t talk to me because you might be a weirdo.”

We watch hours and hours of television–alone. No matter if there are others in the room, our concern and concentration is with the TV alone. 

Are all this bad? No. They are not necessarily bad, but if these kinds of lifestyle that we live in will be our daily routine, chances are: a.) there will be enormous pressures pulling away from people; b.) our social relationship with other people as well as the public will become poor and; c.) we will become so lethargic once we look at life in this kind of action and in this perception. The tide of technology always tugs us in the opposite direction. If you want personal contact these days, you have to make an effort. 

A sweet life is a shared experience. Our greatest joys, our most precious moments, our toughest challenges, and cherished memories are mostly shared with people. Our greatest learning experiences comes from being with people around you. To have a memorable lifetime on this planet, we must be prepared to knock down some barriers. We have to work at spending time with people, and make it as one of our priorities. 

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