I went to the Wednesday night minyan today.
It wasn’t something I planned on doing, just a spur the moment response to a thought about looking for the places we belong.
Threw on a pair of jeans, hopped in the car and took the ride cross town smiling most of the way because I didn’t need to use the GPS to find my way.
A chance to be with my people, new though they may be, we are all members of the same tribe.
We did our thing and I ran down the street to the closest Target to pick up some trash bags, a chair and some other odds and ends.
Ten minutes or so was all it took and then I sat down in the car and realized the cold is mostly gone, but its good buddy exhaustion hasn’t left yet.
Looking For The Places We Belong
More than a few people have said Facebook feels like a toxic environment and have asked me if I have ever thought about taking a break from it.
I tell them I have thought about it more than once and that part of the reason I have used it as much as I have is because in theory it makes it easy to communicate with friends and family who live far away.
And then I look at the list of friends and ask myself what would happen if I suddenly disappeared.
How many would be aware I was gone and would they truly care.
Would it bother them or would they just go about their business?
Flip the question and ask me what I would do if people suddenly disappeared from my friend feed.
Some I might notice immediately, but many wouldn’t cross my mind.
Hell, I just figured out that I was unfriended by a bunch of folks, but I can’t tell you when it happened.
I just realized that I hadn’t seen anything from them in a while and went to see what was up and boom, there was the Add Friend notification.
Can’t tell you if it was me or if it was them, but I can say I can’t remember how long it was since I had any communication outside of Facebook with them so how close can we really be.
We are looking for the places we belong and sometimes I think we forget that social media isn’t a real substitute for the face-to-face stuff.
Trapped On A Desert Island
When my daughter was quite little she asked me how to figure out who you could marry and I said you could used the trapped on a desert island test.
“What is that daddy?”
“If you can imagine being trapped on a desert island with someone and not worry that they’ll make you crazy you probably have someone special.”
I waited for her to ask the obvious follow up questions, but since she was about four she got distracted by the bananas on the counter and that was the end of that conversation.
Not so long ago the now much older than four but not as old as she thinks girl of mine told me she figures I have made every girl who ever dated me crazy.
I laughed and told her that a few of them have tried to hit me with their big black purse and she rolled her eyes at me and said “I don’t know why mom married you.”
“Sometimes I can be very charming and humble, very humble.”
“Dad, you really are crazy.”
“It is my job.”
The Death Of Civility
Sooner or later I am going to reach out to some people and tell them I need to have some time to speak with them.
Time to make eye contact and see facial expressions or at the very least to lose the text speak and communicate via phone.
Because text is a poor substitute for real communication and no matter how skilled you are at making words work for you it is just not the same.
And because some conversations will lead to 8 million questions and I won’t have the patience to type for 18 hours when I can explain it more thoroughly in two.
Not to mention that some things are of such a personal nature that I just don’t want to write them down.
Sometimes the lack of civility on Facebook really bothers me because it is unnecessary and divisive.
It is kind of sad to see how quickly we join our respective tribes and do our best to destroy the other.
I an measure my stress level by how fast and how hard I jump on others.
Lately I have found myself going for the jugular as fast as possible.
Got to get them first, tell them how stupid they are and how dangerous the policies they support are.
Cut their throats, poke them in the eye and then move on to the next fool because in an us versus them world we need to make sure we protect us first and not them.
Instead of looking for the places we belong we discover those we don’t.
Maybe I ought to start searching for that desert island sooner than later.