Thanks to social media the whole human race is connected more now then ever before. Yet we are more emotionally, and physically isolated, leaving us lonely. During a Reiki treatment this past week I felt the pain my friend/client was experiencing. Upon asking what the relevance of hockey might have been, which was the only symbol her energy was sharing with me, she disclosed how torn up she had been over the recent events of the Bronco’s. I don’t consider myself cold or calloused. It is a horrible event, but accidents do happen and this particular accident did not directly effect any of the characters in my life. Yet I have heard by many people and not just this particular client how torn up they are from the accident. As she talked it didn’t sound to me that her grief was strictly the loss of so many lives, but also a personal loss as she saw a country, and community morned together. She, like I, had the privilege of spending some time in a small town growing up. As she talked I had flash backs to a similar feeling that I had experienced this past summer. While visiting my favourite little ghost town the run down community hall hit me particularly hard. The hall once hosted a variety of events. I was heart broken to see how the building was falling apart. The roof had been replaced but a little too late. The inside smelled of dust, mold and wild animals. Empty raccoon traps littered the building. Apparently as the people moved out the raccoon population soared.
“I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.” -Albert Einstein
It was never a bustling town while I lived there. But there were always a couple of things a young preteen could count on. There was the regular 4-H meetings that brought the youths into town a couple of times a week. Robsart days the annual end of harvest celebration, included judging events of local artist, seamstresses, bakers, fresh and canned perishables. Horseshoe games, ball tournaments, beer gardens, and then to finish it all off after a weekend of celebrating, a dance that everyone attended. Nobody left until after the sun showed up. Within the town lived a colourful bunch of characters. Everyone knew everyone. There was a man, Mr. Penhaligon, who came and got a bag of marshmallows nearly every day. He feed his horse, Marshmellow, the marshmallows and it lived in his house. When the horse got out and pooped on the mayors front step, rules where made and horses couldn’t stay in town. So he got himself a goat. Mr. Morrison was like the little old lady who lived in a shoe. Only HE had so many CATS, he didn’t know what to do… but man could that old guy play the piano. My sister and I would sit below his front window for probably hours listening to him play. I’m sure he knew we where there. The cats would sit on the window sill and look down at us. There were the old timers who gathered for coffee at the general store. The store was a family run business that my grandpa Bernie owned before my parents took over. The old guys always had a story to share, they were all truly fascinating, one of which was my Great Uncle Gordon. Which is how I got to know the late, and eccentric Judy Poisson. Judy and my great uncle raised my aunt (and godmother) when my grandma was to ill to return home after having her. If you have the chance to meet her, my Aunt Brenda, you’ll see that it took amazing people to raise her into such an outstanding woman. I have so many memories, and it’s sad knowing that way of life is dying. Humans have a need for connection & community.
Out with the old and in with the new. Evolution is a funny thing, and is defined as “a process of gradual change that takes place over many generations, during which species of animals, plants, or insects slowly change some of their physical characteristics.” I’m sure many would agree that evolution goes beyond organic beings, and is what is also happening to our physical world. There are still communities. However, I don’t feel they carry the same strength or emotional ties as the community of a small town would bring. These temporary and digital communities, leave us feeling lonely, and emotionally unbalanced. These days our kids play sports, and we converge with other parents. More recently I have found a happy group of IG individuals that share the same zest for life as me. These are the communities we link ourself to now. I will likely never meet my digital family members in person. And at the end each sports season our communities of swim parents, hockey families, baseball, soccer… will disappear until next season. Our connections have become short and disposable. We fit them in where we can, instead of the old way of living within a community. Yoga is a way of life. Much like a community should be. When we are alone perhaps turning on the TV or radio to produce background noise helping to reduce the “lonely” effect. The noise numbs that loneliness, eventually though we need to have a conversation with someone other then ourself. The level of connection that humans require grows, greater and greater each time we obtain little more. This is healthy. Ugly crying, being unable to function because of something seen on on social media…not healthy. View it, learn a lesson if there is one to take from another persons experience, then move on. Fill that need to connect with people in close proximity so that the energy exchange is a equally give and take. In the digital world we hear many more negatives, for every positive. We will always feel a greater connection of community through human interaction. Maybe I’m a dinosaur, and humanity is evolving to extinction.