Society's biggest problem
In my July 2 column, I wrote about what I think is right in our society.
To provide a different perspective, in this column I would like to share what I think is society's biggest problem -- one we are facing today.
It is disconnection.
It is the disconnection from ourselves, from our spirituality, from each other and from nature.
It is the disconnection between body, mind and spirit, and the disconnection between our outward success and inward satisfaction.
As human beings, we are wired to connect.
But we are so busy doing things and being entertained that we are losing human and spiritual connections.
We are so preoccupied that we don't have quiet time to recharge ourselves, to connect with our inner beings, to connect with the high power, to connect with nature.
We are so focused on success and things that we neglect what is really significant and important.
We are so prosperous and arrogant that we think we can do everything and all on our own. We want to be independent rather than interdependent.
Our conventional medicine and current health care (or more appropriately disease care) system focus only on diseases in our body, on medical and surgical interventions to treat illness instead of taking the natural, holistic approach -- seeing the body, mind and spirit as interrelated and connected.
In the age of constant digital connectivity and multitasking, we are over-connected technologically, but under-connected and under-communicated relationally.
Technology makes electronic communication so easy, convenient and instant that we prefer e-mail over a phone call and a direct talk. We are losing the face-to-face communication and human connection.
We are more intelligent and advanced, but we do not necessarily have more emotional intelligence to know better how to connect with people, how to deal with people and solve conflicts.
So, in many situations, we simply stop talking and communicating altogether.
We have over-scheduled kids, but under-connected families.
We have so many activities and things to do that we don't have time to eat family meals together and talk to each other.
We guard our right to privacy and value our individuality so much that we don't easily share our stories and lives with each other, and we are losing the sense of community.
We might have a hard time choosing an emergency contact for our kids, because we don't really know the neighbors around us very well and don't have really good friends who are close.
We might have a hard time finding someone or don't feel comfortable contacting someone when we face a crisis and need help.
We might have a hard time sharing our real-life stories with our friends.
We might have a hard time sharing our real concerns and problems with our partners, our parents or our children.
Yes, we may have a lot of friends, both near or far away, real or virtual, but how many of our friends do we really know and how many of them really know us?
Yes, we may talk to a lot of friends, but how much of the talk is the heart-to-heart, soul-to-soul talk?
Yes, we may have achieved great worldly success and material possessions, but do we feel fulfilled and satisfied deep in our hearts?
These are questions only each individual can answer honestly for him- or herself.
And I will not be surprised if many people say, "No, I don't really have such intimate relationships. No, I don't feel happy and satisfied."
Human beings are social and relational. Relationships and human connections foster health and wellness in body, mind and spirit, while lack of social support and disconnection leads to loneliness, isolation, anxiety, depression, despair and illness.
As a result of our disconnection from ourselves, from our spirituality, from each other, and from nature, we more or less live isolated lives.
No wonder more and more people are suffering from anxiety, depression, loneliness, helplessness, hopelessness, despair, from physical illness and behavioral problems.
More and more people are paying big bucks to professionals so they can have somebody to talk to and share their problems.
A counselor or a psychologist may be able to help an individual. But I doubt they can help solve this big problem in our society.
I think it's up to every one of us to try to reconnect what has been disconnected, and to recreate a strong sense of community.
Without connections, we would all get lost in this world.
By the way, I encourage you to go to the Woodbury Days this weekend. This annual event provides us an opportunity to meet and connect with others in the community.
I will be there Saturday, helping at the shared booth of Minnesota JingLun Chinese School and Acupuncture of Woodbury from 9 a.m. to noon, then at the Spirit of Life Bible Church booth from 1 to 3 p.m., and finally at the Woodbury Days Information booth from 3 to 7 p.m.
I hope you will stop by and say hello. I would love to meet all of you personally. Please feel free to share with me your honest comments about this column.