Thursday, August 29, 2013

Good morning, Good Afternoon, & Goodnight

Recently it has been brought to my attention by several unconnected events that our world is small and we are not embracing this fact and using it to our advantage on so many levels. I am not a global marketer, or a big oil sheik. However even them have forgotten how small this place is, and that kindness goes a long ways.

I had the opportunity to take a small trip this week. I went 150 miles from my front door to the front door of a complete stranger. We had made a deal and were completing our transaction. Making small talk it came up that I had recently been in the Caribbean. Of course people are always excited when they hear that so she wanted to know more. I explained that we lived there briefly. We visited about it for a bit, she too had been many years before to St John on her honeymoon. She then mentioned that ironically her neighbor had recently moved to one of the Virgin Islands but hated it, only lasted a few months and came home. I said that sounded familiar a common occurance, and asked which island. She wasn't sure but thought St Croix. I asked their name, and of course it is a small island, I knew them.

This past weekend we went camping, we had no cell service. It was a beautiful thing. On our way home we hit service and both our phones started chirping, and tweeting away. On of my husbands texts was from a buddy he worked with in the islands. It said "Guess where I am." Don said reply "Walmart, he must be in the states somewhere." (Island joke) I replied and he comes back with "Close, Bozeman, MT." Just over the hill from us. We made promises to connect soon.

It got me thinking, I have thought a lot about the people I met in de islands, many of them I wonder if I will ever see again. Of course now I realize that anything is possible. In the islands the way we live life is completely different than how I live it here in Idaho. Things are similar, but more simple. One of the things I can't get over is here as I drive down the streets I hardly ever see anyone walking or riding their bike. Early mornings no one is waiting for a taxi. It's sad really. I miss seeing people, and more then that I miss the connection to the world around me. The beep, beep to say "hello" or "no you first." No one honks, no one waves, hell no one even smiles at you.

We live so disconnected from the world. We think we are connected with our iphones, and computers, we can watch eight news channels at once, every second we breathe we check Facebook, or Twitter, or other social media to "stay connected". But the truth is we have surrounded ourselves by technology and no longer people.

I go walking at night for exercise. The girls are in bed, it is nice and cool and I enjoy the dark. The other night I was out walking and a man was walking towards me on the sidewalk. As we approached out of habit more than anything I called out, "Goodnight". He stepped as far away from me as he possibly could, choked on his cigarette, and mumbled "uh..." cough, cough, "ya, nite." I kept walking and shook my head. We are failing this planet, in my opinion not by melting the polar ice caps or killing the ozone. We are killing humanity and failing to have a connection with all our brothers and sisters surrounding us.

In the islands you say Good morning, Good Afternoon, or Goodnight depending to everyone you meet. YES EVERYONE, and if you don't you get schooled. Perfectly good strangers will smile at you and say Goodnight. You acknowledge each others existence and in doing so validate each others importance here on this earth. How hard is that, how hard is it that every time you encounter a human being smile, say hello, say good morning. Perhaps there would be less hatred, less depression, less violence.

Now don't get me wrong. De Islands are filled with crime. It was one of the things we liked the least about living there, and was a major roll in us leaving. So it is not Utopia and everyone is not singing and dancing (although they do that a lot down there). But no place is perfect, I awoke to gunshots outside my bedroom window last Friday at 3am. This world is going down the drain as I see it, but while I am here I will validate you.

Good morning, and have a beautiful day!