By Kenneth Justice
~ This past week I was sitting at coffee and an 86 year old dude struck up a conversation with me,
“My girlfriend of ten years just broke up with me” he said, “It’s left me wondering what to do with my life, I really loved her, now I’m overcome with sadness at the loss of the connection with her”
For 86 years old, the dude was pretty vibrant. He has children and grandchildren in Minneapolis and San Francisco and travels to see them multiple times throughout the years, “I’m thinking about moving near my daughter in San Francisco but the particular city she lives in has an average housing cost of over a million dollars. Even if I rent an apartment near her I’ll be paying more than triple what I pay now, I just feel so lonely” he said
It’s interesting to me that at nearly ninety years old, this man is thinking about family. He’s thinking about his children and grandchildren; he wants to be near them….because he feels lonely.
Loved ones are an important component of life. Not everyone is blessed with loved ones who aren’t a tad bit crazy. As my Uncle Bob used to say, “you can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family, and that kinda sucks most of the time”.
We live in a strange culture. The average person spends more time watching television than talking to their friends.
Yesterday one of my close friends called me and was lamenting to me how sad they were about the lack of connectivity in their life, “I simply want more community. But so many people I know simply want to watch television or go to the sports bar to watch sports. What’s wrong with people??”
A lot of people long for a slower pace of life. They dream about beautiful beaches, warm weather, and long days in the sun. They move to places like Costa Rica but after six months of living there they get restless and leave. Earlier this year a Costa Rican local told me, “The average person from the United States ends up moving back home because they miss their fast cars, their 200 cable channels, and their subdivisions. They don’t like sitting around all day, drinking coffee, and talking with people” he said
The television has definitely changed the way of life in the Western World. Gone are the days when men and women threw dinner parties five nights a week to talk about politics and current events over fine wine or good beer. Thanks to the television, you don’t need to get together with your neighbors to talk about life, love and the pursuit of happiness, you can simply turn on your television and listen to faceless bodies tell you what they think.
Just a few thoughts as I sipped my coffee this morning,
Categories: Culture & Society