I was out. It was raining, but without the wind. I was trying to decide what month it actually felt like. After settling on April, I held the door for an older couple. They still had a lot of life left. If nothing more than because they had meaning. It was easy to see. If either forgot, all one of them needed to do was look into the other's eyes to remember. We all carry a world within our eyes, but some people let it fade, trading stories and perspective for security and niceties.
But then there's that previous generation. I'm not sure their problems were any different. Most were under the veil of secrecy -- held down, safe behind closed doors. Plus, there was no social media to sensationalize, pulling the local to the global. We like to romanticize, though. Because on the surface, sincerity is something our generation lacks (at least that's the narrative that's told). Like this vanity fair article about dating. It makes you ask, where's the heart? Where's any idea of caring? Are we too busy being reckless to notice? If we are, it's not the kind of reckless needed to make the world a better place... Have we consumed so much of the world that we have to consume other people too?
I can hardly listen to podcasts anymore. The industry is in a boom. It's all about taking the stories of others and commercializing them, in the process separating story from space, and voice from context. Removing all the essentials that make the narrative breathe. And it's processed. Cut out the real, replaced with an edit. It's tastes better that way, at least that's the narrative our generation has been fed. It's also why when a voice with conviction comes along, we listen. Because hearing the truth is so different in a room filled with noise that it's stunning. Even though right below the surface there's an internal cry silently screaming for change. And it's not the kind we can "believe in" or some other slogan cleverly concocted to steal real emotions and turn them into a marketing campaign. As for the cries, they are gradually growing...
A few weeks ago, I nearly saw a group of girls walk into traffic with a selfie stick... I didn't know what to feel. For a moment the digital world became real. I think we need to disconnect before we become disconnected. Because now there are people dying alone, and no one knows. Months go by and no one realizes until the authorities are contacted after a reliable tenant suddenly stops paying. How can this happen?
Here's what it comes down to: The story should start with the self, but not in a way to stroke the ego. Share personal generosity and misery -- always being positive and always being negative are equally tragic. Share the the full spectrum. Connect. Love. Break. And do it again.
All that other nonsense should be ignored.