We are so fortunate to live in this digital age; it allows anyone and everyone to be a writer, either through publishing a book, or posting on a blog. We all have a voice. Thus we can be heard all around the world, not just the tiny patch of it which we physically inhabit, and make connections with like-minded people we could never otherwise hope to have met. We are all connected.
Perhaps even more important is our growing awareness of our interconnectedness; the ability to see a universal ‘oneness’ in all things, that no matter who or where we are, or how different we appear to be on the outside, we are all part of one whole.
Science has taken this idea a huge step further; archaeo-anthropology and archaeo-genetics can now trace our genetic pathway back through thousands of years to the origins of mankind, so determining our common ancestors. It seems we are more interconnected than some of us might like to admit.
Take, for example, the recent exhumation of the body of King Richard III from beneath a car park in Leicester; he died on August 22nd 1485, yet using samples of DNA obtained from his remains 530 years later, it was possible to trace his descendants around the globe who are alive today. Imagine discovering that connection!
All these strands which connect us in the modern world seem as fragile and intricate as spiders webs. They are invisible, blurred by distance, connections we can neither see, nor feel. They are easy to overlook, ignore, deny. Herein lies the disconnect.
Our connections on the web, social media, local radio, tv and so on informed us of the devastation of the two recent earthquakes in Nepal which left over 8500 people dead, and we were shocked. But we are immune, because we are so far removed from such horror. In our part of the world, these disasters rarely happen.
Watching or listening to such events unfold in distant lands to people we don’t know arouses only vague senses of sorrow and empathy. A quick donation later, and we’ve moved on to discussing the weather, or preparing the dinner, and tomorrow there will be new news.
But the disconnect is insidious and sly. It creeps stealthily into our everyday lives, and our immediate community. I know, because I see it and I feel it. I always have.
Every day I battle with my twin demons; connection and disconnection. I disconnect so I can write; so I can avoid large social gatherings, where I mill about on the fringes feeling more disconnected than ever; so I can avoid feeling different, or inadequate, in fact so I can disconnect from my feelings of disconnectedness, which society makes me feel so aware of.
While I’m doing that, I’m connecting via my blog and social media with people who judge me only on my content, on what I have to say, on my voice, on my interaction. No one here finds me lacking. If they do, they just disconnect, unfollow, never comment again. It’s a wonderful freedom. No wonder more and more people are joining the blogosphere.
The most precious connection of all, though, is that I share with my children. It’s a multi-faceted jewel which is constantly growing and evolving. It’s more than words, mere communication; its nurturing, displays of love and affection, sharing, taking an interest in each other, making time for each other, and so much more. I am reminded of this daily, when I lift my non-verbal child from her bed every morning. Lack of communication does not make for lack of connection; her squeals of joy when I walk in the room, and the intensity of her hugs are proof enough of that.