Watching the movie Sully was an experience. It taught me a few things. The movie also helped to give word to certain emotions. Life is a collection of unexpected moments. How we deal with those moments define us. On January 15, 2009 New York came together to prove humanity together can beat the odds even if they seem insurmountable.
The circumstances we face today too require a collective human effort to overcome the situation. But there are instances when the humanity around you seems stifling. As a person, you want someone to comfort you. Yet you tend to push people away in fear. In fear that they might judge you.
During these situations a person seeks comfort from a stranger. A person who will not judge after listening to your story. A recent tragedy involving a peer of mine could not find that stranger willing to listen her story. The news when it broke out shook me up. It brought back some uncomfortable memories. I was fortunate enough to find my stranger in time.
Having some time to process what has happened; it got me thinking. Thoughts started to swirl in my mind about the world around us. The current global lockdown we are experiencing aided to deepen the thought. Away from the bustling and busy life with a moment to slow down, is the universe asking us to introspect?
I do not have the answer for that. But it gave me time to view the world more closely. We pride ourselves on the improvements the human race has made in terms of communication over the last few decades. With greater internet speeds, with new software allowing for social media, virtual calls and exposing us to content from across the globe, we feel as if we are connected to the world in a much tighter way than ever before in history.
We use gadgets. The smartphones in our palms and laptops on our desks to feel close. But have we become closer to human beings that live and exist around us? It does not seem so. In the last few days of the lockdown I have observed how the gadgets that have connected the world are making us disconnect from people around us. Nokia it seems has got its tagline wrong. The gadgets are not connecting people.
We are busy on our social media feeds sharing stories, posts and images waiting for likes, retweets and shares. Sharing our life on digital platforms with people who are acquaintances is a thing we do not forget. The online content we watch creates a shared meaning for us. At times, we obsess over few particular people on our social media lists to recognise our content posted on those platforms.
Obsessing over these with a gadget in our hands sitting in our bedrooms and living rooms, we tend to overlook the people around us. Over the last few days I have spent entire days on my laptop. My brother is spending his days on his phone watching ‘Friends’ on Netflix. Mom and dad are in front of their phones and laptops. My grandma is upstairs watching television. People are living in the same house but not much conversation. This is a situation in many households across the globe.
The pandemic that has the world in a state of lockdown is presenting us with a chance to reconnect. To reconnect with the people that are physically present around us. Not everyone has a healthy home life. But for the ones who do this is a great opportunity. Get in touch with the people around you and rekindle your relationships. Strengthen the bonds you have. Make the most of every moment you have with your near and dear ones. Because life is unpredictable. No one knows what is coming next. So make your present count.
This post is in dedication to my peer who is shining bright above and looking down on us from a place where she has found her peace.