It’s become more and more apparent to me that isolation and segregation are detrimental to my health. When I silo in on my own for too long, I end up lazy, depressed, terminally online, irritable, and boring.
It used to be that I could spend days in isolation with only a good book, but those were the days when all my other time was spent outside, and my time indoors had more interactions with other people. Even gaming was social. People had to physically sit beside each other to play.
Perhaps it is a function of our technological adolescence or the fact I am in my mid-40’s, but more and more I find that the time I spend lost in my phone, or watching a screen, is truly wasted. Coffee, or a cold beer with a friend, time spent talking with my wife about our lives, reaching out to larger groups through hobbies, interests, church, community – these things seem to have more value to me these days, and seem to feed my sense of being “centered” more and more.
There’s a lot being said about the things that divide people these days. It’s everywhere, and I’m not convinced that we’re not being force-fed this idea for some malevolent reason, but I think that regardless of what divisions may or may not exist amongst us, the best thing we could do is start trying to bridge gaps and strengthen bonds.
Start at home. Less screen time and more together time. Less time indoors and more time outside. Less activities done in isolation and more as a community. For me, these things seem to be a panacea for the malaise that I find myself in from time to time, when I sequester myself off in my own wi-fi saturated cloud.
Perhaps this is Covid hangover. A bad habit brought about from the lockdowns. It will take a bit of time for us to break down the barriers we erected out of fear and replace them with relationships with our friends, family, heighbors, and others inside and outside our circle to make our communities better, stronger, healthier places.
I think it is work worth doing.
We’re all we’ve got.
Have a great Labor Day!