disconnected

Today many people are struggling with being home away from family and friends. Yet, being disconnected can provide opportunities.

 

Growing Up In A Disconnected World

 

I grew up in a relatively disconnected world. We lived in a rural area with our closest neighbors a quarter of a mile away, but most much farther. On top of that, my mom didn’t drive. Therefore, until I got my driver’s license we usually didn’t go anywhere unless we could bike there or dad was home.

 

A tiny grocery existed about 4 miles away. However, most grocery shopping was done “in town” 15 miles away. Thus, grocery shopping was a once a week task. On very rare occasions, dad would stop to pick up milk, bread, or another necessity on his way home. However, generally we cooked whatever we had and I learned to improvise.

 

We did have a telephone, but we mostly made local calls because talking long-distance was expensive. So, we stayed mostly to ourselves outside of school and seeing family from time to time.

 

Being disconnected, I learned how to entertain myself, read for hours and hours, learned how to make cookies out of nothing at all, and learned to enjoy solitude. I would likely not have focused in these areas if we were always on the go.

 

Today’s Situation

 

Today, despite staying home, we are still very connected to people through electronics. However, many people are more disconnected than they have ever been in their life. Such a change can be challenging.

 

Finding Yourself

 

In recent years, you may have found it difficult to get away or to say, “No” to social engagements. Now, you have the perfect opportunity to find yourself, pamper yourself, discover what you love, or spend time with your family.

 

Have you sat back lately and asked yourself, “Who am I?” It is an interesting question. You may identify yourself as a parent, a spouse, a teacher, or a dedicated member of your church.

 

Still, who are you really? Look deep inside and consider the things that are most important to you. Perhaps there are dreams that you have put on hold or core values that you compromised along your journey.

 

Now, you have a chance to focus on those things that are important to you. Spend time with yourself, get reacquainted, and create a new path forward.

 

Discover What You Love

 

Consider what you truly love. Perhaps your journey has taken twists and turns to the point that you no longer love the things you once did. Alternately, that dream may still be waiting for you.

 

Focus some time on your hobbies. Investigate something that you have been meaning to try for some time. Or, try several random things and see if something speaks to you.

 

Pamper Yourself

 

While focusing on rediscovering yourself, also pamper yourself. Pampering can take many forms. Go outside, exercise, and enjoy the sunshine. Also, take time to make healthy meals from scratch and get some extra sleep. Plus, make sure to include an indulgence or two.

 

Connect With Your Family

 

During this disconnected time, you also have an opportunity to reconnect with your family in new and stronger ways. If they live with you, you can share in the self and family discovery together.

 

If your family is at a distance, you can still strengthen your connection. Extra phone calls to check in on them not only helps them, but can also enhance your relationship. Consider video calls and activities if practical.

 

For instance, we discovered that we really enjoy having game night with the kids via video. The crazy thing is that despite having them at a distance for years, we had never developed a habit of connecting via video or doing regular activities together. Now, I hope we keep it as a regular family gathering.

 

Disconnected – The Opportunity

 

So, instead of seeing this time in a negative light, look for the opportunities. Disconnected can feel good!

 

Recent related articles:

 

Connection to Humanity

 

 

People often think of humanity as the human race. However, vocabulary.com adds to that by defining humanity as “the qualities that make us human, such as the ability to love and have compassion, be creative, and not be a robot or alien.”

 

These qualities are what define us and tie us together as a group. Yet, it seems that there are an increasing number of people who don’t have a strong connection to humanity. They may relate to some aspects of the uniqueness of the human race, but seem to struggle to in other areas to connect with people.

 

Violence

 

For example, people who commit unprovoked violence against themselves or other people clearly lack compassion and a strong connection to humanity. This is likely the reason for the rise in mass shootings. Shootings have been blamed on video games, guns, and other things. However, it is most likely that a major contributing factor is that individuals who commit these crimes are disconnected from humanity. It is this same disconnection that makes gangs appealing to some people. It is simple. Any connection, even a really bad one, is better than no connection at all.

 

These groups may use violence as a bonding element. However, normally it is nearly impossible for people who feel love to commit violence except in situations of jealousy or temporary insanity. With the connection to humanity comes a knowing that you are a part of a community. As a part of something bigger, people have a greater purpose and more meaning in their life.

 

Distance

 

Today, many people have distance between themselves and other people. For example, it is possible for people to basically never leave their home. They can work, take classes, bank, and purchase almost everything they need without leaving home. This creates physical distance between the person and other people in their community. More importantly, the ability to distance one’s self weakens the person’s bond with humanity. As such, it becomes easier for the qualities that make us human to diminish.

 

If we take a look back one hundred years, people needed to interact with other people in order to survive. That interaction in the town square, schools, churches, and the people’s homes gave people a strong connection to humanity and to the needs of others. It isn’t that there wasn’t any violence in those days. However, most people felt connected to each other and supported each other.

 

I Beg To Disagree

 

In years gone by, disagreements were just disagreements. Yes, there were occasional lawsuits and from time to time a shooting over the issue. However, today disagreements have moved to an entirely different level. Since people can survive without depending on friends and neighbors, many people have become individuals instead of part of the community. As such, their connection to humanity has diminished.

 

With the weakened connection to humanity, comes a lack of love and compassion, which have led many people to believe that their opinion is the only one of value. They are unwilling or unable to see other people’s points of view. As a result, lawsuits are immediate, unfriending common, and threats of violence not unusual.

 

Some people go so far as believing that their belief or opinion is the “chosen” one. If it tramples on someone else’s beliefs or opinions, they don’t even understand why that would be an issue because they “know” they are right. However, they are not stopping and considering the other person at all. They simply feel they have the superior stance. This takes us back to the issue of seeing one’s self as an individual rather than a member of humanity.

 

The Solution

 

We need to once again gain our sense of community and our focus on the attributes that make us human. People don’t all have to agree. Instead, people need to see each other as valuable, no matter how different their opinions may be from their own. It is only through valuing each other as humans that we can solve problems and make the world a better place to live.