Miscommunication

Lying awake in bed last night I wondered if I died how long it would be before anyone noticed. My children are all grown up now, the youngest left home in October last year. I wasn’t feeling morbid, more reflecting on how disconnected we are from everyone today and don’t seem to have so many meaningful connections. It’s easy to send a quick text, a social media comment or a message using a myriad of apps because we are too busy to get caught up in a real conversation. If you tend to be introverted like me then it takes longer to build up a meaningful friendship than ever. People are very quick to post likes and compliments but how many of them would actually pick up the phone to see how you are? One if you’re lucky. I may have about 500 ‘friends’ on Facebook – I did have over 2000 at one point but I only have a deep connection with a few of them.
We get a fleeting moment of pleasure when someone replies to our message but if we see they’ve read it and haven’t replied how hurt do we feel?
I had been on a retreat at the weekend where no one was using their phones or internet. I hadn’t met many of the people before and the rest I hadn’t seen for 2 years or more. Yet in some ways I feel more connected to them than I do my own family. If I don’t call my sons or my parents they are very unlikely to call me. I’ve tried in the past to leave it until they do but after a week or so I give in. So it would be a long time before they noticed I was gone.
If I didn’t reply to someone’s message or text they would probably assume I was busy as I do in the same situation. I think we are more nervous about calling people these days because we’re worried about bothering them. I go on regular retreats so again it would be several days before anyone noticed anything peculiar.

I mostly seem to talk on the phone for business or administration purposes only these days. It almost makes me hanker for the days when email was the preferred mode of communication. Anything is better than this.
So this week if someone texts or messages me I am not going to reply. No, I am going to pick up the phone and call them. I am not going to text or message anyone either. I going to call them instead. It will be interesting to see what their reactions are, if they even bother to pick up or call back if they are busy. Which is extremely likely – that they will be busy that is.
Reporting back next week…

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Doing the right thing

Sometimes it’s not easy. I volunteer with a local charity. I’ve been doing it about 5 years now. It has been going for over 40 years and is entirely run by volunteers. Last year it won a Queens award for voluntary service too.

Our local MP – or ex MP as he is now until the General Election if he wins – is the Vice President of this charity. Oddly enough he turned up at an event on Saturday showcasing local volunteering organisations. I manage the social media for the charity and was sent a picture of him to post on the Facebook page. The charity is strictly a non political organisation and just over 2 weeks before the election this felt wrong. I thought about it further, and reflecting his voting record in the commons decided that morally and ethically I had to stand by my principles.

Not only that it felt disrespectful to all the volunteers who give up their time for no personal gain. He arrived at our AGM last year after it was finished and didn’t turn up at all to the presentation of the Queens award. How odd then that he has time now with an election looming (not)!

I do wonder how many people check their MP’s voting record?  Although he consistently votes for gay rights (surprise, surprise he is gay!) he voted against the promotion of equality and human rights – go figure! He has voted in favour of trident, military action, fracking, fox hunting and the bedroom tax and other policies that negatively affect the most vulnerable in our society and against allowing in more Child refugees.

I was discussing my dilemma with some Buddhist friends this evening and they agreed with me. It’s not always easy doing the right thing and going against the herd. I don’t always get it right but I will always strive the best I can to ensure the mark I leave on the world is mostly positive.

Not in my name.

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 210 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.