By Kenneth Justice
~ Waking up early this past Saturday morning there were people all over downtown rushing towards Washington Street, so armed with my camera I made my way over to see what was going on. As I made it around the corner I saw a line stretching down an entire city block, at least a hundred people standing out in the cold and as I followed the line toward the front I found myself starting at the door of UHF, a popular local record shop.
If I had ever wondered what could get young people out of bed early on a Saturday morning I now knew the answer; offer them a 20% discount on records.
Turns out the 3rd day of April every year is “Record Store Day“. You can see how out-of-the-mix I am because I had never even heard of Record Store Day until I asked one of the fashionably dressed young men standing in-line, “What’s going on dude?”
To tell you the truth….I’m really old fashioned, I still listen to music on C.D.’s and on my Ipod….I don’t even own a turn table! And vinyl records…sheesh, I don’t even own a single one! ~~I felt like an ancient old fogey as I stood taking pictures of the young cool hipsters standing outside in 30 degree weather to buy vinyl records.
Yet behind their cool glasses, the vintage jeans they bought at a thrift shop, and their trendy mismatched outfits there is actually a very interesting psychological phenomenon that was occurring Saturday morning.
We all want to belong….don’t we??
Think about it…..haven’t you ever seen the throngs of people standing outside a movie theater at Midnight to catch the first showing of those Lovey Dovey Vampire Movies or those films about the Sorcerer with glasses?
What about all those gamers who cajole their parents into dropping them off at Game Stop around midnight to stand in line for hours to purchase the new release of Mortal Death Wish Killer Stab Victim 5……
Of course, any of these people could just wait a few days, or even a few months and they can usually purchase the products for a fraction of what they cost on opening night.
Check out the bargain bins located at FYE and you can buy DVD’s for a buck!
But if you wait……you miss out on the experience,
and more importantly; you won’t be apart of the experience.
At the core of our humanity is a thirst for community….a thirst for belonging…
Sure, us in the Western World, we love our individuality, yet all the independence we have has resulted in many trips to the pharmacy to pick up our anti-depressant prescription.
For many of us in the over 30 crowd, we were sold a bill of goods by our parents that involved an emphasis on terms like, “Education, Job, Career, Income Potential, and 401K”….
So as I sit in my study and look at what I call my wall of diplomas…….you know what?: I would trade every one of those diploma’s for deeper and more meaningful relationships with those I love.
As I get a little bit older I realize that what I value is not my earnings potential or how much money I have in my 401K….what I really value is the connections I have made with my fellow human beings, the friendships I have managed to keep.
At our core we are social creatures.
We look for connection everywhere we go; whether it is standing outside a record store or seeing familiar faces at a bar or coffee shop……
Even on my little Website here, this blog that I write; when I see familiar faces in the comment section it makes me smile.
One of the first times I realized the Internet could create a level of community was more than 10 years ago when I was a regular commenter on a blog….I actually ended up meeting a few of those people in real life…..
Don’t get me wrong; when we can work at a career we love and enjoy….it can be a great blessing to our life; and for the less than 10% who love their job, they are very fortunate.
Yet…..if we don’t take the time to keep ourselves connected to a community we can end up finding ourselves old and alone…..and dare I say feeling empty?
This is why people join Churches, Temples, Mosques, and other religious institutions…it gives us a sense of belonging…..and when those religious institutions let us down……it can end up having far reaching consequences on our lives…….because at our core; we are social creatures.
But for right now,
It’s time for a cup of coffee…..
Categories: Culture & Society