A couple of days ago, a friend of mine posted something written by a friend of his on Facebook. This is what she had to say: “I’ve been contemplating what I really miss in life. Why do I feel this empty space? I have not felt completely full in a very long time. I miss the outdoors… a good hike, fishing or camping. No radio, cellphone, TV, movies or internet. Just the birds, the river running… just the sound of crickets.
“I miss a good, deep, solid conversation about life, God and love. All the things that truly matter! The world has changed so much with technology that we don’t even know each other anymore. We don’t have time for each other anymore. You turn on the evening news and all you hear is bad news. Shootings and crime have skyrocketed, and it’s become the norm.
“We can no longer trust emails or use our debit cards without worry of scams or fraud. We can no longer leave a door unlocked or a window open.
“I miss the world I grew up in. Where people had time for each other. Where conversations mattered. Where there was respect for each other. When people knew what was right and wrong. Sometimes I honestly want to throw my cellphone out the window, but realize I have to use it to contact the ones I love.
“This new world has swallowed us up and there is not a damn thing we can do about it. Am I the only one who ever feels this way?”
I don’t know Krissy, but I wrote a letter to her anyway. This is what I said:
“I think you should pull your tent out of storage and go camping this week. Unless you live up north. Then you might go snowshoeing in the woods. That’s fun, too.
“Shootings and crime have not skyrocketed, although reporting of them has. If you look at the statistics, you are actually far less likely to come to a violent end or die of disease than at any time in human history.
“But it does not sound like you are enjoying your smartphone. Maybe you should get a simple phone instead. They cost less, and you can still make phone calls. And use a credit card for online purchases instead of a debit card. Then you don’t need to worry so much.
“Meaningful conversations are there to be had. Sometimes you have to start them. I think you made an excellent start with this post. Maybe try again, but this time at your kitchen table with a friend and a cup of coffee.
“Krissy, you sound anxious, and I’m sorry. The world has not swallowed you. Meditation helps. Exercise helps. Being clear on your purpose in the world and helping others helps a lot. Life has never been perfect for anyone. But we have never had anywhere near as many years as we now get to enjoy life—or not. It’s your choice. And, yes, you can do something about it.
“All the best,
As I said, I don’t know Krissy. I don’t suppose she read what I wrote, and, if she did, I’m not sure she would care. We get invested in our beliefs, even if they aren’t making us happy.
But I wanted to tell her that every one of us gets frustrated and discouraged and sometimes feels things are going down the tubes. I wanted to tell her she was not alone.
And I wanted to wish her a happier New Year.
Till next time,
Carrie Photos from this week’s column and podcasts can be found at CarrieClasson.com.
Carrie Classon Contributing columnist