The world used to be really small. People were limited to what happened in their city or village and every now and then, if the event was truly important, the news spread far enough. They wrote letters that would take months to reach to their final destination if ever at all. The information was kept by few. You would hear from countries directly involved in the recent history of yours and you would barely ever make it very far from home. And even if you did, it was not an everyday thing or an everyday decision for anyone.
This was life less than 100 years ago.
And to put things in perspective, humans have been on earth for around 200.000 years and the Earth herself is 4.543 billion years old.
So we can agree that the way we live now fairly recent.
I’ve been thinking about this because there is something I hear over and over and it really makes me want to stop and scream: “we are so disconnected”. Well yes, we’ve disconnected in may ways, we’ve moved beyond the land and our disconnection from nature is impressive… YET we are more connected today than ever before and this has its madness and its greatness.
The madness is that now, in the comfort of my own bed I can open my Facebook only to see that in the US, there are now trying to build a pipe that puts in danger the water supply of thousands of people… And if you have a soft heart like mine, you will have the hardest time to make it our of bed that day. Or you will see the atrocities in Aleppo and you will wonder how are you going to make it through the day with that information knowing that in this very second horrible things are happening. Or if you live in a country like mine, you will be informed of all the crimes in every city across Colombia. Things 20, 50, 100 years ago you would have never ever heard of. We had no connection. We had no idea.
And the madness amplifies because being exposed to so much information often leaves us with 2 choices:
1) Numb out: You will listen to it as if this had nothing to do with you what so ever. You always seem to be the most informed and you’ll spill out all the horrible details without even considering that this might shatter someone’s heart in a million pieces.
2) Hide under your blankets. Forever. And deny it. Live in the bubble. Proclaim that all is well. Refuse to see the pain or get so sucked by it that you are unable to move or function.
And we often forget that there is a third path. We can take a stand, and make a choice. We listen enough to know and make an informed choice and then you choose to do something about it. This is where the greatness in found.
Isn’t it FREAKING AMAZING that I can donate funds to a charity that is helping people in Syria from my home in the Netherlands, with a Colombian credit card to an office in the US? Think about it…
Isn’t it mind blowing that you can meet people from all over the world and interact with their culture, beliefs, food and history?
My great-grandparents traveled for 4 moths (!) to get where I live now and I can do that in maximum 12hrs.
I can talk with my parents or my best friend on the other side of the world just with a phone and an internet connection. I mean, you are reading this blog and we can be thousands of miles away from each other.
So we are DEFINITELY more connected than ever before.
Our heart is going to be broken more often. Yes. Or at least mine does.
And the powerlessness sits in different because it’s no longer what happens in my village, it’s what happens in another country on the other side of the world and yet it touches me. I care. I wish I could be of help.
And that’s our opportunity: if we tune into this right, if we stand in our power and we choose how we would take in the information and if we stop making it about how disconnected we’ve become but more about how connected we are now… We can do amazing things. Hard things. We can join causes that move us. We can share our story and deeply inspire others. We can extend a hand even from the other side of the planet. We can be the change we want to see in the world and we can lead the pack for many that want and believe in the same.
So it’s not about whether we are connected or not…
It’s how we choose to work with it and realize that we are closer to each other than ever before.