Connection

All things share the same breath - the beast, the tree, the man... the air shares its spirit with all the life it supports.

Take only memories, leave nothing but footprints.

Man does not weave this web of life. He is merely a strand of it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.

~Chief Seattle

~All living things are connected at a cellular level.

~The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

In his book, “The Web of Life”, Fritjof Capra states that, “According to the systems view, the essential properties of an organism, or living system, are properties of the whole, which none of the parts have. They arise from the interactions and relationships among the parts. These properties are destroyed when the system is dissected, either physically or theoretically, into isolated elements. …. And the nature of the whole is always different from the mere sum of its parts.” Capra, The Web of Life, 1996

Human connection is essential for sustainable living. Emotional connection involves inclusion, empathy, compassion, a sense of belonging, and real human interaction without judgment. However, in this age of the internet, our need for instant gratification is skimming over quality time with friends and family. We see nearly everyone talking, messaging, or simply tuning out in order to watch, read, or communicate via hand-held devices. Have you ever walked into a room full of people to find everyone sitting around looking at their phones instead of engaging in conversation?

Our obsession with these devices cause us to miss out on so much beauty in our world. Children are tethered to YouTube and social media instead of playing outside with each other, while busy parents are relieved to have their children’s attention occupied after an exhausting day of work. Sadly, socialization has become mechanical, nonverbal, and frankly, hindered by our new-found ability to hide behind a screen instead of engaging with someone in conversation, simply listening, or reaching out with a kind touch.

“We’re in a spiritual crisis, the key to building a true belonging practice is maintaining our belief in inextricable human connection. That connection — the spirit that flows between us and every other human in the world – is not something that can be broken; however, our belief in the connection is constantly tested and repeatedly severed… “

… “Its [sic] counterintuitive, but our belief in the inextricable human connection is one of our most renewable sources of courage in the wilderness. I can stand up for what I believe is right when I know that regardless of the pushback and criticism, I’m connected to myself and others in a way that can’t be severed. When we don’t believe in an unbreakable connection, the isolation of the wilderness is too daunting so we stay in our factions and echo chambers.” (https://www.forbes.com/sites/danschawbel/2017/09/12/brene-brown-why-human-connection-will-bring-us-closer-together/#5b42dc772f06, Sept 12, 2017)

Connection is the Cover Word for this Summer Solstice Edition because we all need human connection and a sense of belonging in order to thrive in these challenging times. Reach out to someone you haven’t talked to in a while. You may be surprised by their heartfelt response. Visit a retirement center, community organization, or farmers market. Attend any number of festivals, fairs and events scheduled during these warm Summer days. Just get outside! There’s nothing better for the spirit than walking the beach, strolling the forests, or hiking in the sunshine of the season. Let’s put down our phones and make this our time for relationship and connection.

Cover WordM Morgan