I just can't seem to get enough of the beautiful spring colors blooming all over Pittsburgh. I walk Murphy up and down the streets of my Point Breeze neighborhood, keeping an eye on all the bulbs bursting out of the ground. It's so awesome! My own garden looks so lifeless and brown... but I'm starting to see green again. Soon my sweet little dogwood will spring to life and all will be right with the world.
I wish everything was right with the world, but I've been disappointed lately by the pettiness of people. Follow my thinking here, because it's going to get a little weird, I'm afraid. I submit to you that the more technological our society has become, and the more we walk around with our eyes glued to our phones, the less personable and aware of others we've gotten. The less likely we are to chat with strangers, or smile at each other, or see the beautiful flowers blooming outside the view of our cell phone screens. It's like the world is passing us by, and because we're stuck in digital quicksand, we don't see or hear or smell the sweetness happening all around us.
A disturbing side effect of this technology and our reliance on it is how collectively (and individually) insecure we've become. We seem to do things now to increase our "likes," to get more "friends" or improve the number of views we get. It's as though we've gotten lost, and the only way to carve out our place in the world is to do something – anything – to get attention. It's sad. And it's pervasive. It's really pushed me away from Facebook. I know that's my most popular platform... the place where I can reach the most people. But the politics behind it are such a turn off.
Our elected leaders can't agree on anything because of hate. Where did love of country go? Politicians grandstand and will stoop to almost any level to grab the spotlight. To make headlines. To be relevant. We have employers so addicted to the bottom line that their most valuable assets – their employees – are nothing more than numbers, not people with hopes and dreams and families. And we have children today being raised in a fast-paced, demanding world. The 80s outrage over explicit language on TV and in music has vanished. Kids see sexual content and hear dreadful lyrics every place they turn. They're growing up faster than they should. And I hear no voices demanding that the reigns be pulled back.
But this underlying insecurity is what's most alarming. Our children feel the brunt of it. Their idols are rappers with facial tattoos and You Tubers who play video games for a living. Moms compete with other moms in a Keeping Up with the Joneses that's gotten out of control. Our media has sold out. Its objectivity is gone. Its agenda is clear. And the finger pointing blame game has become a circus. It's as though the only way we can feel good about ourselves is to knock someone else down. It's sad. I just want to tune everyone out.
So if you see me walking the streets of my little neighborhood wearing ear buds, it's not that I'm trying to be antisocial. I'm just listening to my classical music radio station, breathing in the spring air that smells of mulch and hyacinths, losing myself in the sun's warmth. Perhaps tomorrow will be the day that we get our collective act together. That we get back to basics. Love of family. Love of country. Love of individuality. It's time to care less about what other people are doing and re-focus on what truly matters. Goodness. Joy. Kindness. And love. THAT'S the world I live in. I wish we could all get back to the basics.