Only Human?

Only Human?

Nice Human cropped

It seems to me that the more we have divided ourselves up into smaller and smaller ideological groups, the more anxiety and conflict we have experienced. Ultimately, there is always a smaller box to draw and defend. Eventually, this practice merely leaves us alone in a little box of our own making.

One thing that is becoming evident during our social distancing experience is our coming to share something that crosses so many of the lines we’ve drawn of late. There are still attempts to describe this crisis along some of those old, tired, and disruptive lines. I’ve heard Republican responses and Democratic ones. There have been racist attempts to explain this circumstance. Others are claiming moral superiority. I’ve observed every narrow and highly defended box we have constructed in our efforts to define ourselves of late contorted in attempts to bring some meaning to all of this anxiety and disruption.

But, without fail, the best responses—the ones that have resonated with me; the ones that have moved me—have been human beings responding to other human beings. I’ve watched home learning live feeds that have evoked a huge, lingering smile on my face. I’ve seen celebrities open up their homes via Instagram. I’ve seen people taking care of people. Those responses have been wonderful. The more we step back and broaden our boundaries of who’s in and who’s out, the better the stories become. Even at a “social distance,” expressing and recognizing our shared humanity, without fail, becomes life-giving and light-giving.

Be an excellent human today. You can do this from your COVID-19 bunker. Make a phone call. Check on an elderly friend by phone. Write some letters. Send some texts. Use Facetime. Post human stories rather than political ones. Post helpful information that keeps us all safe and dispels the misinformation and divisions. I came across a beautiful little meme from the amazing Brené Brown this morning:

“This pandemic experience is a massive experiment in collective vulnerability. We can be our worst selves when we’re afraid, or our very best, bravest selves. In the context of fear and vulnerability, there is often very little in between because when we are uncertain and afraid, our default is self-protection. We don’t have to be scary when we’re scared. Let’s choose awkward, brave, and kind.”

THAT sounds very human in the best sense of the word.  We can do this! Hell, we canceled the NBA, March Madness, Spring Training, and the NHL! Zero riots! Come together (at a safe social distance). We got this!

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Information R/evolution

Very interesting…

I was helping my daughter set up her Ipod touch. The more we got into the process, the more we were amazed (those of you who already have an iPhone or iPod touch…excuse us). Click a song, press “genius” and a new playlist appears…let me check out youtube for the video…web for lyrics, iTunes for other music by this artist…”this is cool, let’s post it on Facebook”(from the iPod), her friend replies…”if you like that, check this out”…you get the idea. All this ON her ipod…a unit the size of a cell phone.

I realize how differently I think about listening to music.  It was once a physical object on my shelf.  I have a wall of CD’s in my home office (probably 700 to 1000…I started collecting CD’s in 1985). I have a shelf full of old vinyl records that my daughter now uses to decorate her room…we have nothing on which to play them). I was the music geek that read the liner notes inside the big album cover.  I was a little bumed about CD’s because the jewel case was not as satisfying as the large album cover (go find the vinyl version of Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti, or Pink Floyd’s The Wall for example).

Now, my music is not on a shelf…it’s not a physical entity.  I’m sitting at my computer…I have over 6400 songs…1,000 albums by 550 artists on my hard-drive.  I can find lyrics, tour schedules, reviews, videos, interviews, causes that inspired the music, art…you get the idea.  Music is now a multi-sensory experience.  I think about it, visualize it differently.

This was a quick ramble.  Check out the video below. Give it a chance, and then let me know your thoughts…  The video is not merely about the convenience of technology…it’s about thinking differently.   Interact with this post…this is not merely a publication…it’s a conversation!