The news coming from Connecticut yesterday really slammed into my forehead, much more so than the recent similar events.
I don’t claim to be a hundred percent aware of everything that goes on in this world, but I do pride myself on making an effort not to ignore the world around me. It’s important to be able to place Iraq on a map, or to know where Bhutan is, and to understand why the Indian-Pakistani border is unstable and volatile. Or why red states are red and why blue ones are blue– and, even though our national politics have been reduced to a map made of childish Colorforms, it’s essential to know why. And it’s important to know the name of the president of Italy.
The thing is, there aren’t enough people curious enough to even care about these things anymore. If you DO know where Bhutan is, you’re considered odd, boring, nerdy; and, all too often, the person who doesn’t know where Bhutan is lauds himself on his cool ignorance.
And not being aware of the people around you is based in the same sort of ignorance– with a price to pay.
We need to start turning toward one another and examining what makes us do the things we do. We have to stop the selfishness, the mindless consumerism and concentration on STUFF, and our addiction to following the lives of vapid, meaningless “celebrities.” We have to look UP from our electronic devices and pay attention. We have to take the buds out of our ears and LISTEN. The answers to our problems aren’t going to be found in pastel-colored memes, nor will they be helped by silly prayer chains that make us feel good for a minute– good and then forgetful.
The click of a mouse will never substitute for the touch of a hand.
We really, really have to enact change by really, really helping one another along. It’s time to stop the ignorance and the stupidity. Yes, I know there are many of us who do good, and really try– but, by far, there are not enough. We’re ignoring one another where it really matters, and we’re seeing the effects of that. 300 million people are in need a long-overdue sea change.
Our dangerous dependence on everything electronic has caused us to look away, because the answers aren’t going to be found in silica. What if somebody comes along one day and pulls the plug? Then what happens? (We saw a bit of the consequences during Sandy.)
Again: The click of a mouse will never substitute for the touch of a hand. We need to start reaching out.