Thank goodness for the advent of the constant Internet connection.
Without it I would be stuck in countless waiting rooms and lines, thinking thoughts that would disappear into frustration over my inability to be productive. Now, I can connect with people across the country through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, or blog my ideas on my iPod (another benefit of switching to WordPress-the mobile application works much better. I could never get Blogger to update from my iPod) I know this contributes to our impatient, I-want-it-now culture, but there’s something positive about having expression at your fingertips, like a release valve that relieves the pressure of everyday life. And, no, I really don’t remember how we got along without it. I know we waited, and maybe we talked among ourselves more, unable to escape into cyberspace at the slightest sign of delay in our busy lives. Alas, the proverbial double edged sword. Do we advocate a return to the culture of personal connection, or do we accept that with the ability to be internationally connected that we will lose the desire to be concerned with those in our own communities? Why should we be surprised that salespeople rarely speak to customers, or that children have forgotten common courtesy terms, when we adults fail to lift our heads and say “thank you” when someone opens a door for us while checking our Blackberries and loading our iPhones?
Nevertheless, I find it a blessing to have the time and opportunity to share with so many wonderful people, both through the Internet and my homeschooling contacts. It seems God connects us with like minded people when we need reminding that we are not alone. I’m drawn to all types of people, but it helps to know that others share common beliefs. One example is Mochadad, who I met through Twitter. I always felt I was the only person of AfAm descent who felt divided between what the candidacy of Obama represents versus the man’s actual positions, until I read his blog affirming that you can honor the accomplishment without idolizing the individual. In our local community, an example would my new friend Stan, who works with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (say that five times fast). His wife and I teach together at our homeschool group, and I’ve taught several of his daughters (at last count he has 9 – ‘whew’ ) piano lessons over the years. Yet I hadn’t had the chance to meet him til last Friday at enrichment. After some tech talk (always a great icebreaker between guys), we discussed the movie “Fireproof”, then politics, then family…with conclusions that echoed my sensibilities in a way I had felt isolated in before. He even gave Marcus, who is a budding meteorologist himself, some great info on weather patterns and global warming, or the lack thereof.(Yes, he is a conscientious scientific objector to the man-made global warming hysteria.) In each instance, it was the practical expression of my individuality (homeschooling, blogging, etc.) that brought me into contact with those that demonstrated commonality with my ideals. I suppose the lesson is to be who you are, and you will find others who like you the way you are.
Thank you again, then, to all those that have been friends both near and far, who haven’t been offended by my opinions and have reasoned with my ramblings. Much of how my voice has developed has been a result of the fact that you’ve been willing to listen. Here’s hoping we continue the journey together.
Looking unto the hills,