Happy New Year! 🙂 I was originally going to put this Essay under my Page heading, “Love… So much more than a word!”, as it is most certainly applicable to Love. Or at least “my” definition(s) of it. But I’ve discovered that “Posts” tend to get more traffic, as they are the items which send out the updates, and for some reason “Pages” do not.
At any rate, this is worthy also of being a “Post” in its own right, and I hope it doesn’t “overshadow” too much the Poetry I only earlier today “Posted” as well. Poetry is after all the greater sum of my Life’s work, though I’ve found myself more as of late dealing with the idea and reality of “Book Writing” as well.
Anyhow… without further ado…
Friends. They are -and can be- found, made, and lost in an instant! They are (or should be) for most the Life blood of us. External influences, close enough to be Loved, some dearly so, but at a “comfortable” distance from those we may or might otherwise claim as “our own”, the endeared “Loved Ones” and “Family”, that hold their own sacred places within our hearts, closer than “Friends” usually are, with the exception of but a most special few, who inadvertently become Family in their own right, though not of Blood, and for the even more sacred few, those spouses true enough to the meaning of and qualities of Loving people/persons who begin as Friends, and remain so in the most intimate of relations we can put a definition to.
The problem with this is (not that there is by any means a problem with “Friendship” itself) that we, as a self-defining species, with an intellect and capacity for greatness yet to be fully recognized or achieved, have lost (seemingly) a true understanding, or perhaps comprehension of, the value, necessity, and meaning of “Friends”, or “Friendship”.
As we have so too lost all but the most basic and simplistic understanding of the origin, “Love”, so have we in the majority stopped (or greatly and noticeably, at the least) in the acknowledgment, consideration, and granting of this level of Trust, comradeship, and personal attachment that used to be -in my short though mostly recalled lifetime- a much more common thing among our fellow human companions.
I’m not sure if it is simply the level of Trust we are willing to grant others, or if it is the ever rising “fear” of closeness implied by granting another such intimacy within our “personal” spaces, that such a decline has occurred.
I find it is tragic nonetheless. Friends, 2nd (perhaps 3rd) only to Family and Loved Ones, are a major point of our connectivity to the world around us, and provide us with an outsider(s) view of ourselves, where such honesty has not been tainted by current social “norms”.
It’s not as though we have stopped using the word “friend”, to be sure I find it no less in use than it has been in the past (Unlike Love, with which, though the frequency of its use has certainly expanded, our deep and personal understanding of WHAT Love is has greatly diminished through the course of history and our estranged relationships with one another), but it has noticeably lost a bit of its meaning, and importance to us!
It was not so long ago, that the person living next to you, was as likely to be a “true Friend” as they were to being simply a neighbor. One was at this time able to rely deeply, and personally upon those they gave such lofty titles, and had little cause to doubt the sincerity or stalwart-ness of they who owned to them.
I’m not sure where exactly the blame should fall for this occurrence… surely and truly there is more than one cause. I attribute at least a portion of this seemingly “common” mistrust of our “Friends” and “Peers” on our continued detachment from the “real world”, as we continue as a collective societal whole to delve ever more deeply into our “internet” relationships, wedging ever more deeply the divide between physical relationships and e-relationships.
It seems that, though the internet is a substantial and worthy tool for communication, research, and dissemination of news and information, it has been taking along with its ever increasing speed of connectivity the very basic and simple connections we once made “flesh to flesh”, instead of console to console. We now conveniently hide our “true” selves behind vast cyber walls of protection, free not only of the fear in becoming attached to others at their core, and getting close enough to feel them, the Life within them, to see the scars and imperfections, but also to excuse this lack of humanity by deeming it “safer”, and less painful than being honest, and close enough to smell and hear those we connect to/with!
Don’t get me wrong… I’m neither implying nor suggesting a mass exodus, or total separation from our newly -in the course of human history- acquired “digital” Lives, (though, to be honest, I wouldn’t be 100% against it either) I’m merely suggesting we take a moment to re-evaluate our physical, human aspect of Life. And take a more human and humane approach to our definitive Lives, and, once a week, perhaps once a day, reach out to those around us! Acknowledge not only one-an-others existence, but share in and appreciate the VAST commonalities we all have! We all yearn for acceptance, closeness, appreciation. We ALL wish to be heard, seen, and felt, even touched, smelled, and enjoyed! These strangers that exist on the other side(s) of those fences, real and imagined, were once all considered to be Friends of one type or another, with varying depths of personal attachment, and provided a myriad variety (ies) to our Lives!
They enriched our very presence, gave credence and substance to our own Lives, filled voids that no 9-5 “relationship”, or digital imagery could ever replace, or come close to synthesizing. Machines make a sorry excuse, and (excuse the frankness) piss-poor replacement for the “human touch”!! A smile seen, a laugh heard, a Life felt, not simply acknowledged by unemotional acronyms and silly combination’s of characters zipped back and forth across invisible wires and signals on the latest and greatest IM’ing platform! We ARE still Human, and our physical needs are no different now than they’ve ever been, and no amount or configuration of software and hardware savvy can replace the warm embrace of one we call Friend, let alone anything more intimate such as a Family member, or Loved One.
Let us return to a greater understanding of each other, to a deeper personally held meaning of what it is to be a Friend! To share a more sincere understanding of what it is to Love, and be Loved, at this “basic” level, that one day we may find an even more true and intimate connection, we ALL seek and desire, of a Life Partner, once Friend, turned Super Love (and perhaps Lover) by the physical and mental connections shared and experienced in ways only physicality can provide! Let’s not allow our digital avatar’s the opportunity to be more than we, our physical selves are! Let us once more commune with fellow human beings, in a grand design of Life and Love shared on many varying personal levels, for the greater good and well being of our Human Family, and even if but for a few moments at a time, acknowledge our physical selves, and deny, disconnect, unplug from our digital creations, save some energy and turn off those fractious and fictitious weak semblances of “our selves” that have begun to dominate and separate us from our physical presence(s) upon this planet!
Live, Love, and reach out to that Stranger next door! Let’s begin to be more present in our Lives, and less detached through our implicit use and addiction(s) to technology! It’s nice to talk to people from around the world in a split second, but let’s not allow the technology to replace our physical relationships… nothing in the Universe comes close to the Joy found when touched by another Living breathing Soul, one you call upon and consider to be a Friend.