February 5, 2017

The loneliness of severed connection

The birth and death of human beings are defining moments that move the dynamic of life. When a person dies there is one less connection in this world. But yes as another is born, the potential for another connection is also created. That is the balance of harmony in the world and in the universe too for as one celestial body is created another is sent into destruction.

While this overall balance is set in nature, at the level of us humans another dynamic happens; that of ups and downs. We are formed in the womb with the connection of the umbilical chord as the security bond which at birth is severed and we become an ‘independent” entity. As we grow up we seek our security and our success in life through the connections we forge, as we re-seek that umbilical connection. At whatever stage in our life, our success depends on making connections which perhaps peak in our youth to middle age as we go through the trials and travails of our life.

Every action in life has a link to someone else or something that is a living bond from which we derive our life force and our confidence. Our importance is measured by the numbers of human connections we have been able to muster and the degree of control we can have over these. There are also those fortunate naturals who have a knack for drawing connections to them even without trying - just by their mere attitude of personality.

Making connections and maintaining them are two factors that demand our daily engagement. Some researchers attest that we spend 99 percent of our time working on our image and making connections to keep up that image.  “Third places’ such as coffee shops, cinemas, picnic locations, parks, holhuashi, clubs and gyms and the internet, all contribute to this bonding and sustaining these relationships. And we pay - sometimes quite exorbitant amounts - to keep this life-force sources in operation. They can be liberally inclusive as in the case of public places or staunchly exclusive as in the case of private clubs and such inwardly directed alliances depending on how one wants to be identified with a stratified community.  Keeping our contacts alive is what makes us happy, confident and assured of our place in society. That is why we cherish and are often drowned in the attraction of the facebook, twitter, instagram and other connecting devices. A mere ‘like’ makes our day! We have friends galore - yes, even a cyber connection is a connection. When we forfeit this life force, we are considered reclusive and -  like it or not - soon forgotten even though we exist as alive.

Yet this must all end when we have to go at long last - many a time without a sliver of a warning. As age catches up with us and the attendant failures of our physical body begins to take its toll, each of us is reminded of this time of exit. When our friends begin to disappear we feel the loneliness engulfing us. Thus, it is not difficult to understand the consequence of this pain in the much witnessed successive deaths of spouses with very little time in between, for the broken connection is excruciating to the soul which thrives on the connection of the mind, body and spirit within each of us and with others we have made and maintained connection throughout life. Like a much traversed path along a grassy plain the path is so well defined over time, that its removal is to lose the comfort of the familiar way or even reason to precipitate confusion and chaos.

Each one of us will have this inevitable moment sooner or later. There is no event in life more assured than this. So it is with this awareness that we must all do what we can while we are alive -  to improve the lot of other human beings during the time we inhabit this life moment. That is the purpose of life. We were sent here to make our human existence better for successive generations; not to dwell in selfish hedonism. In the natural flow of life unmarred by selfish desires, we all seem ready to reciprocate a good deed done to us because it feels good to share. That is the nature of life. It is about give and take in harmony. The yin and yang so well depicted by that flowing symbol.

It is as the poet says,

Through this toilsome world, alas!
Once and only once I pass;
If a kindness I may show,
If a good deed I may do
To a suffering fellow man,
Let me do it while I can.
No delay, for it is plain
I shall not pass this way again!