In your search for the relatable, do not forget to build relationships.
(This one was inspired by a reflective conversation with my father in the last month.)
An issue has been spanning across the nations, across the generations.
What is this “issue”?
It is that people have become more invested in finding “relatables” rather than building relationships. So much effort is spent in search of those with commonalities: common interests, common ground, common backgrounds, common ambitions and so forth. It would seem that instead of embracing those with differences, with less commonality, we run in search of mirrors of our “selves”.
Rather than building or maintaining connectivity, people are more interested in searching for connections. Rather than learning a new language or traveling to a new country, we enforce our language on newcomers instead. Rather than taking an interest in someone and developing new hobbies, we run in search of those who “match” our existing ones.
It is interesting to think that in the world of physics, connections are formed when two or more objects are somehow joined, either through electricity, strings, waves and so forth. Yet, in the physical world of humans, the connection is expected to be “instant”, as if to say that anything less than “instant” is simply…too much hassle.
Perhaps this is owed partially to social media. From what I hear, “Tinder” allows people to swipe left and right as they select their date on a silver screen. Instagram allows users to scroll through images of what the “ideal life” would seem like. Facebook allows us to scroll through and troll through pages of political and sociological upheaval.
Social media in general has perpetuated a delusion that allows users to feel like life is “perfect”, and that in the cyber-world one can live their version of a modernized Sim City based on sharing snippets of real life.
In today’s fast-moving world, the connection is formed but rarely maintained the same way. Or…is it?
I suppose one could argue that “patience”, to our generation, has become barely more than an ethical ideal. It takes time, compromise, and energy to maintain any form of relationship; be it friendship, family, romance, or workplace dynamics. Not all parties can compromise, not all parties have the time it may require, not all parties may have the energy or even desire to build a relationship.
I read somewhere that a relationship takes two to tango, and “not one chasing after the other”. This is indeed true, although something I’ve observed to be more common in romances and families than in friendships or workplaces.
So my friends, I ask you from the heart, why aren’t you building relationships with good people? And if your answer is simply “I’m too tired…” then my friend, you may want to have a good look at your priorities. If, however, you are happy with those who are currently in your life, then I, too, am happy for you, and sincerely wish you the best as you continue to grow in whichever community to which you adhere.
I do understand that relationship building doesn’t come naturally to everyone (believe me, I know this first hand), but see it as a skill. An interpersonal one rather than a social one — more on that later.
In your search for “the relatable”, do not forget to build relationships.