Today I am feeling very disillusioned with the human race. For some time now I have noticed that there seem to be few truly genuine people ‘out there.” I may be agoraphobic, but I do my share of interacting with people via phone and email as well as in person. I have offered my trust and friendship to many people over the last couple of years especially and at least some of those friendships/relationships have had poor endings. While I am willing to take any and all responsibility for any part I may have had in the dissolution of these connections, I have to honestly say I don’t know for the most part what actually happened!
It is my observation that people have many agendas in relationships (be it a friend, business or love relationship) and many of them are hidden. I try to be, and hope I am, a “what you see is what you get” kinda gal. I am not sure that I have met too many like-minded people. I have met many who profess to be, but as time goes on and I get to know them better they are ultimately, as demonstrated by their behavior, nothing like the person they represented themselves to be.
As a society, have we placed way too many expectations and demands on people so that everyone believes they have to be perfect to be accepted? Is that why we wear masks? Why are we all so terrified of being real? What is the ultimate price for vulnerability? Perhaps we might consider that the consequence of vulnerability might be a more intensified closeness and connection with others. Just maybe being willing to show our soft underbelly might bring us a tenderness and identification with others beyond our imagination. I’m “just say’n.”
Perhaps the goal should be “wholeness” and not perfection. Can we be whole people even with our imperfections and warts? I vote, “yes.” I believe wholeness is more about “us” and less about “them.” It’s about finding and developing what makes your own heart sing. Once you have found that you can extend it to others and create a kind of “communion,” but until you find it within yourself you cannot possibly offer it to anyone else.
One last note. I have a strong sense that technology, as marvelous as it is, has added to our growing sense of narcissism and our lack of social skills. It seems more and more to be an “all about ME” world. We reach out to others for what we can get from them instead of for what we can give to them. Technology allows us to feed our insatiable desire to satisfy self in a virtually anonymous way. We might actually be embarrassed to say something to, or ask someone for, something face to face that is easily said via text or email. We can more readily detach from the emotions of a situation. Currently there is much less need for true face-to-face conversation and we therefore have no real need to practice our social skills and have limited playgrounds to improve them. We get together for the necessities, but spend a lot of our free time indulging our own personal desires and pleasures, many of them including isolating technological advances like online social networking etc. It is my hope that somehow we find a balance between extreme electronics and the horse ‘n buggy days so that we may find our way back to our true selves and spend more time with others in the precious tangible “now!”