What do you wish for when it comes to relationships in your world? I’ve got plenty of wishes, as you’ll soon see.
I’m wrapping up a series of blog posts from the past month and a half that have focused on the demise of relationships and increase in isolation in our current cultural reality. I approached this writing with a hunch that we might be giving up on each other. I hoped I was wrong.
I’m not surprised that I’ve received a higher-than-normal amount of feedback on these posts. Many of them, if not emotional, were pretty wistful. That’s how I’m going to end this series, not with carefully thought through insights and solutions but from blatted out emotional wishes, thirty-one of them. I suspect many of you will share my sentiments while others will roll your eyes at me. No matter, as long as it makes you think, or better yet, feel, I’m good with that.
Before I give you my wishes for community and relationships, I want to highlight a few more reactions I’ve received and a couple resources I’d recommend.
After my last post in which I shared Nannette Cropsey’s insights on community in Jordan vs. the U.S., I received a few notable reactions.
Jim Henderson wrote: “This woman’s letter was very moving and sobering. Reminded me of times living in India. This is how most of the world lives. America is an outlier. We are essentially like Disneyland to everyone else. We live in a bubble with golden handcuffs. This type of living has never really been the norm in America and never will be. Sorry for being so dark. I miss what she talks about.”
My friend and neighbor, Will, responded with a podcast recommendation: Plain English with Derek Thompson– Why America is Suffering a ‘Friendship Recession’. I highly recommend you take a listen. Here are just a few nuggets:
- Thompson wondered, “Is loneliness making us go berserk?”
- “We’ve binged on the inferior good of a virtual experience at the long-term price of relationships.”
- “Relationships are a social vaccine against the inevitable malice of stress and the sadness of life.”
In the podcast, they referenced a recent New York Times article Why Is It So Hard for Men to Make Close Friends? American men are stuck in a “friendship recession.” Here’s how to climb out. By Catherine Pearson. Again, I recommend a read.
And now my wishes for myself, my people and my world. Once you’ve read mine, I’d be curious to know what your wishes might be.
I wish we would practice being unusually interested in each other.
I wish we would check in on each other.
I wish we would stop cancelling each other.
I wish we would holster our weapons.
I wish we would identify at-risk people.
I wish we would get off the technology train and get on the love train.
I wish we would use social media to tell our stories and not fly our flags.
I wish social media would go away.
I wish we would call as much as text.
I wish we’d think more communally and less individually.
I wish it was more “you first, me second.”
I wish we would not shoot our wounded.
I wish we would not assume that we’re all OK.
I wish we were all bilingual.
I wish we would stop with the conspiracies.
I wish we’d go back to church.
I wish we would stop drinking alone.
I wish we would listen instead of talk.
I wish we would stop comparing our best with their worst.
I wish we would stay in the room with difference.
I wish we would hug again.
I wish we would bring back the pitch-in.
I wish we would ask “How are you?” and mean it.
I wish we would then ask a follow-up question.
I wish we would not assume that people want to be left alone.
I wish we would call people out of the blue.
I wish we would tell each other what we see in each other.
I wish we would make lists of people we need to connect with.
I wish we could shut off the addicting power of the screen.
I wish our cultural leaders would model healthy relationships.
I wish we would grow old with friends.
Now, what do you wish?