There is a disconnect between us that is widening every day. If you squint just right, you can almost see the whispery threads of compassion and connection fraying and snapping off from misuse.
I witness it every day from people who lash out on social media or make rash judgments about people based on one tiny sliver of information. Secure in our electronic cocoons, we’re becoming a generation that has completely forgotten how to act with decency and empathy for others. We gobble up information by the terrabyte, and yet we no longer know how to offer a simple hello and be nice to someone in the lineup at the local coffee shop.
At a First Aid seminar that my wife attended this past weekend, for example, not one person spoke to any of the others during the breaks. Without exception, every person pulled out their cellphone rather than make eye contact and strike up a conversation with anyone sharing the same experience. The hive is empty and the drones have become lost. What I fear most about this disconnect is what it is doing to our humanity.
This fear couldn’t have been more evident than the prank that someone pulled on the shores of Clover Point last week. In the middle of the night, someone decided to leave three running shoes by the water that contained a meat-like substance and bone. For those who haven’t been following the bizarre news, numerous running shoes have been found along the west shore over the last five years that contain actual human remains. Although it sounds like something out of the X-Files, the coroner’s service is satisfied the remains separated naturally from bodies in the water without foul play. (Two of the feet, for example, belonged to a suicide victim; another pair to a drowning victim.)
What upsets me most about this recent hoax is that the perpetrator went that extra sick mile and made the three shoes child-sized. Nothing sends a shock of horror through a community more than the thought of a child being harmed. I can’t imagine how anyone found this prank amusing in the slightest. It shows a sick and dangerous mind that has lost all connection with his/her community. We need to relearn what it means to be part of society, switch off now and again and raise our awareness to the people around us.
Humanity is beautiful; check it out. M
I’ll be doing a short reading from my new mystery, Angel With A Bullet, followed by an audience Q&A and book signing at Chapters this Sat., Sept. 8, at 2 pm. Love to see you there.