Simply Relatable, or Simple Relationships?

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.

Mind Over Matter is Truly the New Matter

(*Disclaimer: This one is a bit paradoxical, on the theme of “Crossroads”)

We live in a world of information, competition, and perceived freedom.

It is true that since the perpetuation and expansion of what one generation calls the Internet, and the rising generation calls “Social Media”, information has been at our fingertips by choice.

The Internet has provided us with a platform of access to our minds. A smartphone, a laptop, a piece of almost “mundane technology,” once one of the greatest inventions of our species, now a simple representation of our minds manifested in a physical realm. The Internet is an invention, probably the only revolutionary invention (not upgrade) of the modern generations. It is also one of the first real tools that has no physical entity except for how it is expressed. The Internet, cyberspace, social media…they are intangible creations that transcribe our minds to the eyes of other readers by leaching onto physical entities such as gadgets.

The mind (Internet) over matter (devices) is the new matter: all that appears to matter is what happens in the mind

This information gives us “choices”, guidelines and “standards” of “civility”. In the last two decades, we have seen this level of “information boom” shock the planet into civilization. All that was known to us suddenly sent the world into an unspoken fear of the “perceived known”. That shock woke the world into realizing how much there is we don’t actually know. How chaotic everything can be, and also how fear drove one spectrum into civility and another into barbarianism.

Is it really a choice, though? We believe that we have the freedom to indulge such information, such knowledge, such “updates” and so forth. But how often have you clicked on a link, a post, a picture, simply because you “couldn’t resist the urge” to do so? Does this not stand to reason that your freedom has thus been overridden by the constraints of habit?

The Internet, or social media, has allowed us to develop new languages and modes of communication where we feel like “mind over matter” is truly the new matter. Being drawn into political debates about countries that have no physical bearing on oneself, empathizing with the idea of philanthropy (social justice) around the world, taking it upon one’s egotistic shoulders to “change the world”, adopting new labels and definitions simply because this “sounds a bit like what I am”.

What if…none of that matters, and all if it minds?

None of those “matters” are physical, all those thoughts are intangible. Therefore…none of it…”matterializes.

Your physical self (the matter) and your emotional+psychological+spiritual self (the mind) are merely reflections of each other. What you write online reflects what goes on in the mind, and what you put into your head, you could condition yourself to become.

So now, in 2017, it is no longer the debate about mind over matter vs matter over mind. The mind, and the matter, have now combined.

Have fun with that!

Peace and blessings,