When I was in elementary school, we would get to watch a couple of television shows in our classroom each week. One of the shows was the Electric Company. The other show was the Big Blue Marble. The latter show would feature stories about kids from different parts of the world. The producers intended to communicate that our world is not really as big as it may seem and that by getting to know people from other parts of the world, we would build a better society together. There was even a pen-pal program (writing actual letters to another person for those who do not understand this concept) that would encourage an ongoing connection and conversation.
I share this memory from the past because I have been thinking about the connectedness of people. It is not surprising that in the age of the internet and social media, the ability to connect with others is even greater. Additionally, technology allows this connectedness to be almost instantaneous. Yet with the tools provided to us, we still seem to struggle with connecting to others.
I am a fairly outgoing person. I engage in conversations with a variety of people in a variety of settings without much difficulty most of the time. Not everyone is comfortable in social settings or in engaging in conversation with individuals whom they have not met. The challenge in being able to have a dialogue with another person is finding that connection. Sometimes the setting provides a clear connecting point such as attending a wedding, being at a job-related gathering, or being at a school event. Other times it may be harder to identify the commonalities which you might have with another person.
The truth that was presented on the television show, Big Blue Marble, is that we have more in common with one another than we ever realize. It is important to find that connection with one another. The reality is that our actions impact one another. This has become increasingly clear in regard to how we treat creation. Even greater are the acts of violence which continually shake our lives. When we acknowledge that we have more in common than differences, then we begin to see each other as valued. If we see the value in another, we are less willing to take a negative action toward that person.
We are connected in ways we have yet to discover. Our commonality far exceeds anything which would divide us. All of us live together on this big blue marble called earth. It is time we lifted up our connectedness.