We have a group of “old friends,” yes, they are “old” like us but we have known them since we were just married. We have moved away from each other yet we have maintained contact. Each winter we, as a group, have a winter outing. We go to plays concerts or just go out to eat and visit. We all look forward to it.
This year we received an email from one of the group suggesting a certain outing. It was a blanket email sent to the other five couples. People have responded by email.
I am not an anti-technology guy but we hear much about the increase in loneliness, depression, and isolation, yet at the same time we have the highest level of so called connectivity with one another. Phones, cell phones, letters (do they still exist?), Facebook, email, texting—have I missed any??
Just in our group of 60-ish geezers, we started with the phone (land phones—yes, we are that antiquated). In the past, in order to organize a proposed winter outing, five phone calls needed to be made initially. The proposed outing was discussed, plus much more. More joys, concerns, more laughter, more tears and sometimes pure jubilation. Yes, we talked about more than the outing. Our response to the email was “Yes, we are interested, count us in”; quick, efficient but cold.
In this age of “high connectivity,” we’re quick, efficient, and cold. We have less and less opportunities to look across the table and see the tears in our friends’ eyes; they can be tears of sadness or tears of joy. The result is this—we are the loser for it all. We have lost compassion for one another (it can’t really be this bad). We have become impatient with each other (I don’t have time for this). We have withered away losing true concern and love our brother and sister. In our increasing isolation and superficial relationships, we pass ourselves off as having in “all together”. We live a lie and we know it.
Let’s slow up and look into each others eyes. Visit, share a cup of coffee and for once in a long time, and see someone else’s tears, happy or sad. We will be the better for it.
To attest to this, the women of this group gathered for coffee recently. We shared laughter, joys, and happenings in our lives, we talked about the outing as well. In fact, it was so intense and enjoyable that we did not notice that we were in the midst of still another snow storm! We all made it slowly but safely home. We vowed to get together again soon. (We used to do it every week when our kids were young.)