As someone who has spent their entire career working to connect people, I feel pretty comfortable saying that I believe disconnection will be the disease of the next century.
The first time I shared this thought was during a job interview when I was on the verge of just getting up and leaving due to my distracted interviewers. One kept repeatedly leaving the room to answer phone calls about a construction job at her home, and my other interviewer kept checking her texts and emails while asking me questions. When I blurted out my thoughts on disconnection, I was mostly speaking to the chaos of the interview although I believe that message was lost on everyone present. I was met with blinking eyes and silence finally followed by the interviewer saying “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
Here is what I am talking about:
I am talking about opening our eyes in the morning and checking our phones before we do anything else. I am talking about endlessly scrolling through images created by strangers on the internet and feeling justified in voicing our anger and opinions when we are behind a screen. I am talking about our inability to communicate with clarity what is actually going on in our internal worlds. I am talking about our incessant need for escapism through a multitude of methods including sex, drugs, food, alcohol, tv, and gambling. I am talking about how it is easier to walk away from shame and guilt than it is to walk through it. I am talking about how we treat those that we deem as “others.” I am talking about rationalizing our behavior when at our core we know we are capable of better. I am talking about how much easier it is to point a finger than it is to look in a mirror. I am talking about the foreign concepts of vulnerability and radical honesty. I am talking about our inability to apologize and make amends. I am talking about those moments when it is easier to keep our mouths shut than to speak up on behalf of ourselves or others.
So how do we navigate this spreading disease in a society that promotes and benefits from it? I believe that we each find our own way. This month I decided to commit to 31 days of connection. My prescription for December is as follows:
- Welcome the morning with my bare feet touching the earth
- Don’t pick up an electronic device until I have spilled my heart on a piece of paper and spoken words to my higher self
- Read something nourishing to my mind and spirit
- Find an opportunity to be of service to someone or something throughout the day
- Acknowledge my gratitude as well as my fears
- Sit in silence and listen
- Connect with strangers
- Rest when tired
- Eat when hungry
- Drink when thirsty
- Surrender to radical compassion and honesty without societal limitations
- Do one thing that scares me each day
- Make sure to have one heartfelt conversation where I feel seen and heard before I got to sleep at night
What is your prescription for connection?