So many things are different now, and so many changes yet loom. It’s hard to put words to it all. What I can put words to is the changes in humans, at least the ones I encounter on my daily walks of sanity with my little dog.
Not too many of us are out walking, and I wonder if I’m making some violation of something or other. True, we are all on isolation in our homes, but should that include staying off the sidewalks? We don’t. Nor do others in our little neighborhood. Like one of my neighbors said today as we passed one another, “You’ve got to get out of the house.”
Getting out of the house restores the humanness of our predicament. Smiling, saying hello and waving reminds us we are not alone.
I was reading an article in People magazine when I came across a compelling quote by Alex Trebek. It especially resonated with me because of my professional involvement with young (and not so) college students. Here’s what he had to say:
“When I was growing up in Ontario, if you were on the street and made eye contact with someone, you would say “good morning,” even if you didn’t know them. Now everyone has their face buried in their cellphones or have earphones in. We’ve become isolationists. There’s a lack of civility in our society right now that bothers me. I always ride the subway when I am in New York, and everyone is just looking down at their phones. It frightens me that we’re losing sensitivity toward others. “
I often think of the movie Wall.E when I ponder the roles the cell phone and texting have taken in our lives today. Wall.E is the story of an enterprising and adorable little robot who finds himself in a space-city where scores of humans migrated when the earth was destroyed in a nuclear attack. The humans have become glutinous and essentially immobile and spend their days floating around on motorized chaises, talking on phones while ignoring the people right next to them. It’s a provocative little film and despite its clear commentary on the state of humankind, it leaves us with a feel-good ending.
I’m anxious to see what our feel-good ending will be.
Author of Living Well in Froggy's World of Plenty: Sweet Talk to Read Aloud; A Bisl of This, A Bisl of That: Eating Our Way; and Career Success in 12 Easy Steps: A Journal; and Owner of Shenouda Associates Inc., Provider of Technical, Marketing, and Business Communications