Human family. Global village. we’re all in this together, all intricately connected, right?
But even as we throw around these buzzwords, we often fail to grasp their essence.
A recent Irish Times article brought a whole new perspective to my afternoon. It’s a tale of just a few minutes on a tram. The players: several self-absorbed people, and one young man who was everything they were not: open, unreserved, unashamed.
He also had Down’s Syndrome.
Yet despite his ?disability,? he was completely open in a way that few now are. Honest about his feelings. Unashamed to talk about failure or ask for help. Unconcerned about judgment. And convinced?truly convinced?of the good in those around him.
“Love . . . is what bonds us all!? he proclaimed.
And it does?if we’re not too afraid to grasp it.
The truth is that despite our protests to the contrary, we’re not all that authentic. We filter. We filter our opinions so as not to offend. We filter our personal secrets so as not to embarrass ourselves. We filter our tell-all histories so as to leave the right impression: open and honest, but also judgment-proof.
we’re afraid of one another.
The young man in the news story may have Down’s Syndrome, but we’re the ones with the ?disability.? As a society, we’ve become emotionally disabled.
We have no trust, no faith in humanity. We don’t stop on the street and say hello. We don’t smile and wave. We mistrust one another. We take offense easily?even when someone makes a mistake. We look at actions through a cynical lens while still preaching a positive outlook.
The young man got it right: love is what bonds us all. Our disconnect from those around us is symptomatic of that missing love, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
As Valentine’s Day approaches, we’re encouraged to, at least one month out of the year, give some sort of official value to our relationships. Maybe this year we can extend that relationship, that bond, to the rest of hurting society. To the strangers on the street. To the clerk in the store. To the telemarketer. To the guy with differing political views.
Love bonds us all.